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Cesium adds global layer of 3D buildings

July 22, 2020  - By 0 Comments

Cesium users now have access to Cesium OSM Buildings, a global base layer of more than 350 million 3D buildings.

Cesium OSM Buildings expands the suite of Cesium Global Base Layers including worldwide terrain, aerial imagery and streetmaps already available on Cesium ion.

“As digital twins and urban mapping gain momentum in 3D geospatial, we are excited to offer a global layer of 3D buildings that can be easily visualized, styled and analyzed in an efficient and interoperable manner using 3D Tiles,” said Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi. “Cesium OSM Buildings will help geospatial developers innovate by giving urban context to 3D applications for a broad range of use cases.”


Take a tour of Cesium OSM Buildings.


Cesium OSM Buildings are built for efficient visualization and are streamable to any device thanks to 3D Tiles, the OGC open standard developed by Cesium to stream massive 3D geospatial datasets. Adherence to open standards means the buildings can be used in any compatible viewer, including Cesium’s free open-source offering, CesiumJS.

Seattle's Space Needle. (Image: Cesium)

Seattle’s Space Needle. (Image: Cesium)

“Cesium OSM Buildings will be useful for everyone from builders sharing planned construction projects, to government agencies seeking tools for planning, training, and simulation,” said Kevin Ring, lead developer on the project.

Cesium OSM Buildings are derived from OpenStreetMap, a community-driven mapping project that welcomes anyone to improve the dataset. Buildings are also regularly updated, firmly clamped to terrain, and are individually selectable and styleable.

“Thanks to the OpenStreetMap project, most cities contain rich metadata that is useful for on-the-fly styling, like highlighting hospitals in a certain color or filtering buildings by the year they were constructed,” Ring said.

Cesium OSM Buildings is included in every Cesium ion subscription.

Cesium is a complete platform that makes the world’s ever-growing collection of real-world 3D data more useful and accessible by enabling the creation of applications that visualize, analyze and share this data – all from your browser.

Rooted in the aerospace industry, Cesium was built to track satellites orbiting the Earth with sub-millimeter accuracy. Cesium continues to aggressively develop and enhance the platform for a range of customers in government agencies, startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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