The Virtual Society (VS) project is a long term research initiative that is investigating the evolution of the future electronic society. Our vision for this electronic society is a shared 3D virtual world where users, from homes and offices, can explore, interact and work. Our first implementation of an infrastructure to support our investigation is known as CommunityPlace and has been developed to support large-scale shared 3D spaces on the Internet using the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML). Obviously, such an ambitious project cuts across many different domains. In this paper we outline the goals of the Virtual Society project, discuss the architecture and implementation of CommunityPlace with particular emphasis on Internet related technologies such as VRML and present our views on the role of VRML and the Internet to support large-scale shared 3D spaces.