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Cesium Takes City Visualizations Into the 3rd Dimension

By Eric Van Rees - 7th November 2019 - 07:04

A new open-source initiative by Cesium, a provider of streaming 3D geospatial technology will address the need to visualize, analyze, and share the world’s vast and ever-growing collection of 3D geospatial data.
Engineering teams from Cesium are working with Uber to add support for 3D Tiles to and, two of Uber’s open source geospatial visualization frameworks. Support for 3D Tiles, an open-standard format originally created by Cesium, will enable and engines like it to stream city-level, massive 3D geospatial datasets and point clouds in real-time on any platform.
The collaboration with Cesium supports Uber Air, Uber’s aerial ridesharing initiative. The implementation of the 3D Tiles feature allows Uber to achieve an unprecedented level of geospatial detail within urban environments.
“Initial point clouds of Melbourne, Australia, which is an Uber Air international launch city, clock in around an astounding 355 million data points,” said Ib Green, Staff Engineer for Core Visualization at Uber. “With 3D Tiles and Cesium ion, we can better visualize the cities we serve and improve transportation experiences across our platform.”
In order to analyze urban mobility, Uber’s engineers and data scientists need to routinely visualize datasets that are larger than what many open-source visualization tools can handle. With Cesium, the Uber Visualization team will be able to render these datasets quickly and seamlessly, empowering the company to better serve customers.
“We created 3D Tiles to help companies like Uber make their massive 3D geospatial datasets more useful and accessible,” said Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi. “We’re proud to collaborate with the Uber Engineering team to expand the 3D Tiles ecosystem with this open-source initiative.”
3D Tiles was developed by the Cesium team in 2015. An open specification for streaming massive heterogeneous 3D geospatial datasets, 3D Tiles are designed to improve 3D streaming and rendering performance by enabling Hierarchical Level of Detail (HLOD) so that only visible tiles are streamed. 3D Tiles are also fully interactive, adaptable, styleable, and flexible while maintaining the level of precision that users expect from Cesium.

Read More: 3D / 4D Education & Research

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