UK based startup Improbable recently raised 502 million dollar. This is a major step and will allow the company to further develop their big dream. Improbable has created an operation system called SpatialOS, that marshals the power of cloud computing and distributed platforms to simulate cities and whole worlds.
SpatialOS applications are actually twofold. One the one hand, it is very interesting to the gaming industry, think role-play games in massive worlds.
On the other hand, SpatialOS can also be used to build up large-scale virtual worlds to better understand the real world. For example, city planners can use the technology to simulate their city including traffic, utilities and much more.
Check out this Youtube video from recent Google Developer Conference for more details.