This research proposes a new method for using real-time information to support large-scale, climatic virtual environments that exhibit natural eco-behavioral conditions. The purpose of this research is to support a real-time virtual ecosystem created by live weather information and GIS terrain data, and delivered through a common multimedia PC/Internet network. For this research experiment, we customized available GIS satellite, terrain, and photography data to construct a highly accurate, large-scale, virtual environment. Next, a Web-based climatic collection system was developed to persistently collect real-time weather information for the physical area being modeled. Finally, an enhanced environment module was created and added to a popular game engine to support a “living” virtual ecosystem with real-time climatic conditions. This type of enhanced environment lays the foundation for creating emergent, dynamic environments that integrate the behavioral patterns of climate, artificial life, user interactions, and their complex interrelationships within a dynamic virtual world.

In the sections that follow, the issues and problems of constructing, supporting, and maintaining a new style of virtual environment are explored, discussed, and analyzed. Finally, a conclusion is presented, including future uses and potentials of this research.

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