Gather.town is an online virtual gaming‐like space (designed by a team at MIT) where users control video/audio‐enabled avatars in a conference centre environment. We have been inspired to experiment with this platform for Hydro-JULES because of its success during the 2020 Ameriflux meeting.
1. Create a profile by putting an email address into here, whereupon Gather will send you a 'magic link' and you can choose an 'avatar' (i.e. the character you will appear as in the conference).
If that magic link does not arrive within a few minutes, please check your spam folder, but it's also possible that your institution has not yet whitelisted their email address (login * at * mail.gather.town) and you may need to request this (e.g. I had to request this for all UKCEH and BGS emails in Feb 2021). n.b. if you prefer to use a personal email rather than a work email at this point, then that should work fine too.
Please note that there is no password for logging in: you just request a new magic link every time. You should be able to use Gather.town equivalently in your browser or as a Desktop app.
2. Now please email Toby your login email (use tobmar * at * ceh.ac.uk) so that I can grant you access to the conference space (please do this in advance of the meeting to avoid delays). Again, personal emails are fine at this stage too.
n.b. for the meeting on March 4th I have added all invited email addresses to the guest list already, so if you are not using a personal email address then you should be able to skip this step.
3. The online conference space I have put together is called the Hydro-JULES Centre. Once you have a profile set up, close any Zoom/Skype windows you may have open (Gather needs exclusive access to your camera and microphone) and then simply
Click here to enter
You should start out in an area called The Waterfront and I put some instructions in the water top right (see Welcome to Gather for a few more tips) and a map of the Conference Centre top left (it's the 'basic map' you can see here right). The schedule for the meeting is available just in front of the Conference Centre main door (or here) and then follow the big ENTER signs to get to the Foyer. There are lots of 'private spaces' dotted around that are free for everyone to use, so please make use of them.
4. Don't forget to leave me feedback on the forms in the Foyer. If you want to add something specific to the conference space (e.g. add a .pdf poster to the poster room, or design a place where you can set up a live demonstration) then please get in touch with me as soon as possible.
This space was first tested out on February 10th 2021, but is still work in progress. If you feel that you would like to help me expand/improve it then please get in touch with me (tobmar * at * ceh.ac.uk): that would be very welcome (!).
That's it. I hope you enjoy Gather!
Toby, Feb 2021.