There’s the beginnings of an interesting discussion here and here about using archaeological data in Second Life, or using Second Life as a teaching resource. I’m more interested in the first idea, of publishing your excavation as an “experience” rather than as some data and a report. I hadn’t even realised that you could link to external datasources in Second Life, but apparently you can, and people are already using this to release their own GIS projects.

I can see some conceptual issues here, as archaeological sites are part of a landscape rather than a single entity with no relation to it’s surroundings, and I don’t see how you could reproduce that in Second Life without turning it into a sort of Google Earth. However, skirting around that issue, it’s certainly a novel way of displaying data, and of leveraging a “virtual-reality”-like interface without needing to spend lots of time and money in developing it. Bring it on!