Benchmark Capital Partner, Michael Eisenberg, has blogged that Google is (rumored to be) working on turning Google Earth into a virtual world a la Second Life.
Benchmark is an investor in Second Life, so one wonders at Michael’s motivation for raising such a rumor into the blogosphere — godzilla just walked past my 24th floor office window heading north?
Michael notes the language on the Google Earth website – one more step to creating a life-like 3-D model of the whole planet….message to the Googleplex – we’ve already got one earth, so why do we need yet another virtual earth… what we need are better ways to connect, interact, create and share and doing so in 3-D is uber-cool.
Matt Marshall sees such a move by Google as an opportunity for them to act as virtual central bankers. A bit of a stretch, but an interesting one nevertheless.
UPDATE: The GigaOM has more to say on this, pointing to the possibility that Google is working with a company in China to build the avatars.