Want to see an example of the web-based VLM List? Here is the current list of VLMs for the DGP4SL
In-World Stores. All of these are live and immediately accessible with a single click.
What Are Landmarks (LMs)?
If you have used Second Life® for any amount of time then you are most likely familiar with
Landmarks. In Second Life, every place where you can go can also be used to create a Landmark or "LM". The
standard LM contains the name of the Region and the X, Y and Z coordinates of the location. When you double-click
an LM, you are teleported to that location. They are not only handy things to help you remember a specific
location that you enjoyed, but they are easy to give to friends, family and customers.
But they have a very nasty problem; they are "locked" to a specific location. This means that if the original
location moves for any reason, the Landmark you created is invalid.
If there is anything constant in Second Life, it's the fact that things change all the time. Store owners
move their products around, re-arrange their layout ... they may even move their store to a totally new Region
or simply change its location on the same Region. However even a small change is enough to make every Landmark
created completely invalid. Anyone attempting to use the old Landmark will wind up landing in the wrong place.
What Are Virtual Landmarks (VLMs)?
An idea first presented on the Second Life Forums
described a way to enhance LMs so that
they would be immune to these changes. Instead of referring to a specific Region and X/Y/Z location, Virtual
Landmarks use a unique name (called a "Hash") that refers to a record in a database. Before teleporting with
a Virtual Landmark, the Hash is used to look up the current Region and Location and then teleports you there.
What Information Is Stored In A VLM?
Every VLM has a 6-character ID Code called a "Hash" and a Description that may be up to 60 characters
in length. Each VLM also contains up to 8 separate Locations. Each Location contains a Title, Message and Image.
Even though the Title, Message and Image are optional, it is recommended that you assign at least a Title to
every Location so that people know where it will take them. The Message may contain any descriptive text that
will help people better understand how the Location differs from the others in the same VLM. The Image is any
Texture uploaded to Second Life
contained in a Virtual Landmark
The Locations within a VLM do not necessarily need to be on the same Region. For example, you can create a VLM
for your In-World Store locations, and each Location would refer to each store. Even though the stores are on
different Regions, you can still put them all in the same VLM.
Can I Share VLMs I've Created?
Yes, absolutely. The VLMVW Management HUD includes a "Make VLM" function. You simply select the VLM desired
and a new VLM Object will appear floating in front of you. You may edit its Name then "Take"
it into your Inventory. VLMs created in this way have Copy/Transfer permissions so that you may give them away
to anyone you wish, however they cannot be modified by anyone else.
Note: Do not change the VLM's Description as this contains the VLM Hash used to look up and Teleport
you to the proper location.
How Do I Remember What VLMs I've Created?
Because every VLM is contained in the VLMVW database, you can easily display a complete list of every one
you've created using the VLMVW Management HUD (more on this below). The URL
for your specific list of VLMs is unique to you but does not contain any private information, so it can be
safely shared with anyone you wish. The list displays the "Description" or name of the VLM and all of its Locations.
The URL to the VLM List page is fixed and will not change, so you can also use a "URL Shortening" Service (such
as bit.ly) to create a shortened version. This makes it easier to
use on web sites, in your Blog or your Personal Profile.
You can view an Example List of VLMs here.
If you only wish to display just a few of your VLMs then you can include the VLM Hashes as part of the URL.
For example, the following URL will display only two VLMs with Hashes 'P6N5Av' and 'hws7zf': (note the '&h=...' on the end of the URL)
What Happens If I Have To Move My Store?
The VLMVW Management HUD provides various functions to Add, Change and Remove a VLM's Locations. You may add
up to 8 Locations per VLM, change the destination for any of the Locations, or remove Locations as desired. Every
change you make will take effect instantly; anyone using a VLM you have given them previously will automatically
go to the new destination. If you have added or removed Locations from the VLM, the Location Menu will also
immediately reflect those changes as well.
What If I Delete A VLM?
Once a VLM is deleted from the database, all the VLMs given to others will no longer work. You should be very
sure that this is what you want to do before deleting a VLM. Deleting a VLM is instant and permanent; it cannot
Can I Use VLMs On A Web Page Or In My Marketplace Product Listings?
In a word, yes. Every VLM and Location includes a "VLMurl" that can be used as a hyperlink from a web page or in a Marketplace
Product Listing. The VLM List mentioned above includes a VLMurl link for every Location. You can easily copy and paste it into the
Product Listing, add it to a Forum Post or insert it into a Web Page. The format of the VLMurl is very simple, all you
need to know is the Location's "Hash" and "LocationID".
For example, if the Location's Hash is "Abc123" and its LocationID is 1041 then its VLMurl is http://vlmvw.com/vlm/Abc123/1041. When the
VLMurl is clicked on a web page, the Location's current destination is displayed using
web site. If you include only the Hash in the VLMurl then the VLM's "Default" Location will be used. The Default
Location for a VLM is the first one listed on the VLM List page which is also the first Location you created when
you initially created the VLM. (See the topic "How Do I
Remember What VLMs I've Created?" for more about the VLM List page.)
Note: The VLM's Hash is case-sensitive. This means that "ABC123" is NOT the same as "abc123". So make
sure that you correctly note the case of each letter in the VLM's Hash.
Important Note about using
VLMurls on the SL Marketplace®
The SL Marketplace® will only accept links to
slurl.com, maps.secondlife.com and a few of the popular "URL Shortening" services. Thus you must use one of those
services (such as bit.ly) to "Shorten" the VLMurl
first. You can then paste the shortened URL into the "SLurl" field in your
Product Listings. The "SLurl" field in the Product Listing form is shown on the Product display page
as the "See Item in Second Life®" link.
SLurl field in an SL Marketplace Product Listing
Before an SLM-compatible SLurl has been generated,
a "Make SLurl for SLM" button is displayed below the Location's Title. When you click the button, a new
"Bitmark" is generated
and displayed. You may then copy and paste the Bitmark into the SLurl field of your SLM Product Listings. After
you have created an SLM-compatible Bitmark, it will be displayed below the Location's Title instead of the button.
"Make SLurl for SLM" Button
A complete description of URL Shortening services,
along with references to the more popular ones, is available on Wikipedia.org at
Can I See How Many People Use My VLMs?
VLMVW keeps very detailed usage statistics about each VLM and Location. A "Use Counter" is incremented every
time someone uses a VLM that you've created and given out. The same thing happens when someone clicks on one of
the VLMurls that you have placed in your
Marketplace Product Listings or on your Blog or Web Site. The VLM Statistics Report shows the number of User TP and
VLMurl uses summarized for today, for the past 7 days and for the past 30 days. This gives you complete
information as to how popular your VLMs are.
The VLM Statistics Report is displayed by opening a special web page on the VLMVW web site. You can obtain
the URL by using the "List & Stats" function of the VLMVW Management HUD. Every time you use that function to
obtain the URL, a new unique "Key" is created. The Key is part of the URL and "Unlocks" the Statistics report.
Thus you can use the function once to obtain the URL of the Statistics Report then continue to use that URL
until the next time you use the "List & Stats" function.
Note: Do not share the URL with anyone else. It provides access to your Private Usage Data. If you
suspect that someone has discovered the URL to the Statistics Report web page, simply use the "List & Stats"
function of the Management HUD and a new Key will be generated, thus invalidating the previous Key and URL.
How Do I Purchase Virtual Landmarks for Virtual Worlds?
Virtual Landmarks for Virtual Worlds is available for purchase from the SL Marketplace® in two
- Freebie Promo Version
- Designed to let you try out Virtual Landmarks free of charge. The Freebie Promo Version provides
creation of up to 5 VLMs and includes an account subscription of 30 days. If you decide that VLMs
are the right tool for you, simply purchase the Unlimited version and all your VLMs will be
automatically transferred to your new account.
- Unlimited Version
- Designed for the largest needs possible. The Unlimited version allows the creation of
an unlimited number of VLMs with each one containing up to 8 Locations. It also includes the VLMVW Store Kiosk
and has a lifetime Subscription.
What happens when my Promo Subscription expires?
A few days prior to your subscription expiring, we will send you an In-World Instant Message reminding
you of the impending expiration. The IM will be repeated once per day until your subscription expires. We will
then send you
one more IM telling you that your subscription has expired. You have an additional seven days after expiration
to renew your subscription by purchasing the Lifetime Unlimited version of the VLMVW package.
When your subscription has expired, you will not be able to use the VLMVW Management HUD to manage your VLMs
and you will not be able to access your VLM Statistics report. However the VLMs you have already created will
remain active as long as we are able to keep them running. We may choose though to remove VLMs for expired
accounts if we learn that they are "Dead" and point to non-existent locations. Otherwise we will do
our best to keep them live. We hope that if you are still depending on VLMs to direct traffic to your stores
that you will "play nice" and contribute to the ongoing expenses of keeping the VLMVW Service running.
How Do VLMs Work?
Virtual Landmarks are provided as a simple wearable object. When you double-click or wear a VLM from your
Inventory, it looks up the current Region and Location information from the database then teleports you there.
Virtual Landmarks also have a feature not available with standard Landmarks: Multiple Destinations. A VLM
can have up to 8 destinations called "Locations". If a VLM has more than one Location, it will list each of them in Nearby Chat
then present you with a simple menu. Once you select the desired Location by clicking on the corresponding
menu button, you will be instantly teleported there. Each time you wear a VLM, you can choose any of the
What Happens When I Wear A VLM?
Because of the way Second Life works, the very first time you use a VLM you must allow it to have two specific
"Permissions"; Teleport permission and Attach permission. After you have granted these permissions they will
persist in the VLM, thus you only need to grant them the very first time you wear the VLM.
Teleport permission is needed so that the VLM can teleport your Avatar to the destination you selected. When
you wear the VLM for the very first time, it will prompt you to Allow it to teleport you. If you decline this
permission, it will not be able to teleport you. The only time Teleport Permission is used is when you wear
the VLM; it cannot randomly teleport you or take control of your Avatar while it remains in your Inventory.
Attach permission is needed so that the VLM can detach itself after it has teleported you.
The only time Attach Permission is used is after the VLM has teleported you and is no
longer needed. It cannot randomly attach other objects to your Avatar; it will only use the permission to detach
itself once it has done its job.
What happens if I don't allow Teleport Permission?
Without Teleport Permission, the VLM cannot automatically teleport you to the destination you selected.
However once it looks up the current information, it will also display a clickable-link in Nearby Chat that
opens a Location Information floater in your Viewer. You can then click the link and use the "Teleport" button
on the floater to teleport there if desired.
What happens if I don't allow Attach Permission?
Without Attach Permission, the VLM cannot automatically detach itself after it has teleported you to the
destination. However you can still manually Detach it whenever you wish.
Where Can I Attach The VLM?
You may Wear (or "Attach") the VLM to any unused Avatar Attachment Point or to any unused HUD Location. The VLM will
usually attach itself to the "Avatar Center" attachment point the first time you wear it, however you can right-click
the VLM in your Inventory and choose a different attachment point. The next time you wear the VLM, it will
attach itself to the last attachment point you selected.
When you Wear the VLM, it turns itself invisible. However when you rez it on the ground, it turns visible
so you can easily see it. Rezzing it also "Resets" the VLM. This can be used if the VLM stops working or has
some other malfunction.
Do I have to Attach the VLM to make it work?
No, the VLM may be rezzed on the ground In-World and it will still perform the Location lookup function exactly
as if you had attached it. However it will not be able to automatically teleport you, so instead it will simply
display the selected Location as a clickable link in Nearby Chat. You can click the link to open a standard
Location Information window then use the "Teleport" button if desired.
The VLM doesn't work when I attach it or rez it!
The VLM is a scripted device. This means that you must be someplace that allows you to run Scripts. If you
own a Linden Home then you are allowed to run Scripts there. There are also many places In-World that allow
running of Scripts. If the VLM doesn't seem to work when you attach it, try teleporting to another location and
then attach it again. If it still will not operate then you can rez it on the ground to "Reset" it. Once it has
rezzed and reset, it should operate properly.
Note that the VLM will operate whether rezzed or attached as described above. However after you have
rezzed it, the VLM will "Lose" the Teleport and Attach permissions previously granted to it. The next time you
wear the VLM, it will request those permissions again. (See the section above titled "What Happens When I Wear A VLM?")