WebGL Earth 2: the Leaflet compatible JavaScript 3D globe powered by Cesium

Jul 18

WebGL Earth 2: the Leaflet compatible JavaScript 3D globe powered by Cesium

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

http://www.webglearth.com/ To embed a 3D globe in a website with an open-source project is now really easy. If you have a simple map application made with the popular Leaflet library, you can with almost no effort turn it into 3D interactive globe with the new WebGL Earth 2 project: just replace “L.” with “WE.” ;-)

See the examples of use of the API: http://examples.webglearth.org/

The globe is made only with JavaScript, using WebGL HTML5 technology. No browser plugin is required. It means it runs automatically on all modern browsers on all computers with recent graphic cards. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE 11+ and even the latest Android mobile devices and soon also all Apple devices with iOS 8+.

This is a complete reimplementation of our original WebGL Earth project.

Our own JavaScript rendering core has been replaced with the great open-source Cesium project to maximally gain from the open-source principles of sharing of the development efforts. We are looking forward to contributing to the Cesium project in the future, instead of developing our own separate core.

Our target is still the same: an easy to use open-source project with public API, allowing easy embedding of a modern 3D globe in websites, with out-of-the box user friendly interaction and support for mobile devices whenever possible. In version 2.0 we have decided to emulate the popular Leaflet JS JavaScript API enriched with 3D functions for altitude, tilting and heading of the view, and flying animations on globe. The core functions are implemented and we hope to improve the compatibility of the APIs with the help of community in the future (GitHub pull requests are very welcome ;-).

The project also preserves the original WebGL Earth JavaScript API 1.0 whenever possible.

OpenStreetMap, Bing, MapBox and other tile layers can be easily used with the globe.

Custom geodata (GeoTIFF, ECW, MrSID, …) can be easily preprocessed with MapTiler (http://www.maptiler.com) to create attractive globes, which can be hosted on any webserver without additional software, on a LAMP hosting with TileServer-php or even on Amazon S3 and other cloud storage services. See: http://tileserver.maptiler.com/#cassini-terrestrial/webglearth

Author | Petr Pridal Published | 2014-07-18

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