Bringing OpenStreetMap to the third dimension with 3D Tiles and Cesium


OpenStreetMap and 3D visualization have been a goal of many for the past few years and there are numerous projects related to achieving this goal, each with various levels of success. With the advent of WebGL and Cesium as well as several new open formats, such as 3D Tiles; world scale, interactive, 3D visualization of OpenStreetMap on the web is finally within grasp.

Even though the Cesium team has been working with heterogeneous geospatial data for years, we are relatively newcomers to the world of OSM. This not only gives us a fresh perspective, but provides us an opportunity to tell our story of the trials and tribulations we encountered while building our first OSM-based demo, New York city buildings (

3D visualization is more than a pretty picture and allows for new levels of interactivity and analysis not otherwise possible. Our experiences not only brought additional insight into the structure of OSM, but allowed us to discover unexpected problems in parts of the dataset, which thanks to the nature of OSM we could also fix.

Attendees will get a high level overview of the stack used in creating our OSM based visualizations, hear what we learned (and how we learned) about the OSM ecosystem, and come away with a better sense of what 3D visualization has to offer, the unique challenges it presents, and the open standards that make it all possible.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 17:00 to 17:15


Dear Speaker, Your talk was not accepted for Web Mapping day, so I have changed the track to Other Cool Stuff, which seemed like a good fit. Thank you so much for submitting this great talk! Andrea
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