3D Tiling Pipeline

Terrain Tiler

Use this command line tool to tile your terrain data from a wide array of input formats into quantized mesh for the most efficient streaming and visualization with CesiumJS.

The terrain tiler command line interface is easy to integrate into any platform, including Linux, Windows, AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. It's built from the ground up for performance and optimized for the best visual experience and precision. Convert your raw terrain data into an efficient tileset by running a single command.

Check out the full documentation.

High performance

The terrain tiler makes use of every available CPU core, giving it a significant performance advantage. The produced tileset is formatted as a mesh and is efficient to visualize. This avoids the need for expensive runtime conversions, unlike traditional heightmaps. Its out-of-core implementation can tile massive datasets even with constrained memory and on commodity hardware.


The terrain tiler is written for global-scale high resolution datasets. It supports any input format supported by GDAL. Terrain data can be processed in any provided projection, and will automatically be reprojected into WGS84 (EPSG:4326).

Fuse terrain from multiple sources

Mosaicking allows you to bring together various terrain data sources in different formats into a unified tileset.

Preserve your highest-resolution data with irregular mesh geometry. This allows merging different resolutions without upsampling to the maximum resolution.

Peek at the underlying irregular mesh with dynamic resolution.

Optimize for fast streaming

Hierarchical level of detail tiles are generated for smooth streaming and optimal load times in CesiumJS. Simplified meshes are loaded when viewed from far away, and higher resolution tiles seamlessly replace lower resolution ones as needed.

The precisely computed geometric error captures the visual accuracy of the simplified mesh and allows it to be shown only at distances when there is no discernible difference.

The terrain tiler also includes options to use geometry aware compression without losing precision. This achieves far better compression rates than general purpose algorithms like gzip. Decoding in CesiumJS is fast and makes use of GPU acceleration and web workers for parallel speedup.

Drag the slider to see the differences between lower and higher level of detail tiles.

Add realism with visual extensions

The terrain tiler can optionally compute the additional attributes needed to create water and terrain lighting effects at visualization time.

These add visual realism and are treated as extensions, allowing you to pick and choose the visual features needed for your application, and leading to more compact tile requests.

Drag the slider to compare terrain with and without shadows and lighting enabled.

Interested in on-premises 3D tiling?

Contact our sales team to request an evaluation, or ask about custom tiling pipelines and services for your 3D data.

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