Free Terrain Tiles for Cesium

Published on Aug 31, 2018

Displaying 3D terrain can hugely increase the realism of your application and improve the user experience. We are happy to announce that we now provide 3D terrain tiles you can use for free as part of your MapTiler Cloud account.

The 3D terrain in your browser

The tiles are in the modern Quantized Mesh format that can be easily used in the open-source Cesium JavaScript library (with full compatibility, including vertex normals for advanced terrain lightning).

The 3D terrain looks very pleasant in combination with our satellite data. Currently, we have a mid-resolution cloudless coverage of the whole planet and we are merging in high-res aerial imagery. Right now you can see the Netherlands, Denmark, and California in high-res and the others are coming very soon.

You can browse the whole world in 3D directly in your browser and also explore our beautiful global Satellite layer.

Source DEM data

We created own global DEM (digital elevation model) which is also used in our hillshading, contour lines, and RGB tiles for client-side and Unity engine.

The original raw open data from US Geological Survey (SRTM 1ARC), NASA and METI (ASTER GDEM) and European Union (EU-DEM), GMTED, ArcticDEM has been modified, adapted and overlaid to “fill the gaps” and provide a seamless and directly reusable global digital elevation model.

MapTiler Cloud also offers to host own detailed 3D terrain and combining the two layers.

Self-hosted or from our infrastructure

We support the self-hosted options, which is available as a package of ~91GB MBTiles file. Contact us if you are interested.

Adding the terrain into the existing Cesium project is very simple. All you have to do is to insert this code snippet:

viewer.terrainProvider = new Cesium.CesiumTerrainProvider({
  url: 'https://maps.tilehosting.com/data/terrain-quantized-mesh/?key={key}' // get your own key at https://cloud.maptiler.com/
});

For direct use in your apps, create a free account on MapTiler Cloud and click on Datasets -> Terrain - Quantized Mesh.

Petr Sloup

Software engineer, front‑end & mobile
Published on Aug 31, 2018

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