WebGL Earth: Open Source 3D Globe for Web Browser

Jan 25

WebGL Earth: Open Source 3D Globe for Web Browser

Tags | osgeo, javascript, labs, open-source, webglearth

WebGL Earth is an open source software enabling to explore, zoom and “play” with the 3D globe directly in a web browser on any platform including mobile devices - without a plugin. The project lives from support and cooperation of developer community.

Live demo: http://www.webglearth.com/. Project page with source code: http://www.webglearth.org/.

It is written in JavaScript using HTML5 Canvas tag with WebGL extension. The code uses Closure Library and Compiler - the same toolset which is behind GMail, Docs, Maps and other Google products.

The project displays detailed street-level data (via OpenStreetMap), detailed aerial imagery (via Bing Maps) and any other custom maps which are available in popular Mercator tiles (prepared by MapTiler, GDAL2Tiles, TileCache, GeoWebCache, etc).

Browser supporting WebGL, like Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta, Google Chrome Beta, WebKit nightly or other is necessary to try this project out.

If you don’t have one, you can at least check the video:

WebGL Earth is available to embed in your own websites via a simple JavaScript API, which we hope to extend soon - based on requests of community. Check the first set of examples demonstrating the API:


Developers can also modify the code completely and use the rendering core as a component for other projects. The best place to start with development is the Quickstart document.

Users are welcome to submit feedback. Developers can join mailing-list, join our community, create a new amazing applications from the source code and make contribution to WebGL Earth or help with reporting and fixing of bugs.

We are looking forward to hear from you. The future of this open-source project is in your hands!

Author | Petr Pridal Published | 2011-01-25

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