Free Terrain Tiles for Cesium

Published August 31st, 2018

Free cesium tiles

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. Alternatively, for self-hosting solutions, it’s possible to get them as part of prepared on-prem packages.


Free 3D Cesium 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.2018-08-31-free-terrain-tiles-for-cesium-2.jpg

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.2018-08-31-free-terrain-tiles-for-cesium-3.jpg

Self-hosted or from our infrastructure

We provide TIN Terrain tiled as optimized meshes, available as a GeoPackage of 88.1 GiB. You can serve it on your infrastructure with MapTiler Server.


ADD cesium 3D terrain to your project

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: '{key}' // get your own key at

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


Petr Sloup

Petr Sloup

Published on August 31st, 2018