Stream Global-Scale Terrain Over the Web

Use Cesium ion to tile your terrain data in a wide array of formats into Quantized Mesh for efficient streaming and visualization with CesiumJS.

The Command Line Interface (CLI) is easy to integrate into any platform, such as 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.

Fuse Terrain from Multiple Sources with Mosaicking

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.

(Left) Mesh with uniform resolution. (Right) Irregular mesh with dynamic resolution.

Faster Streaming with Hierarchical Level of Detail

To optimize load times, meshes are simplified when viewed from far away. Higher resolution tiles are seamlessly loaded and 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.

Higher resolution versions of tiles are loaded seamlessly as the user zooms in.

Add Realism with Visual Extensions

Cesium ion can optionally compute the required metadata for Watermask and Terrain Lighting effects.

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

(Left) Vancouver with watermask. (Right) Mount Everest with terrain lighting.

Easy to Use

Cesium ion brings together all the algorithms needed to convert raw terrain data into an efficient tileset for streaming in an easy-to-use configurable CLI that can be run with a single command.

High Performance

The Cesium ion terrain pipeline is written in C++ and makes use of every available CPU core, giving it a significant performance advantage.

The produced tileset is efficient to visualize. It's formatted as a mesh which avoids the need for expensive runtime conversions, unlike traditional heightmaps.

Geometry-Aware Compression

Cesium ion provides options to compress your terrain. This compression is specific to terrain geometry and achieves far better compression rates than just using general purpose algorithms like gzip.

Decoding in CesiumJS is fast and makes use of GPU acceleration as well as web workers for parallel speedup.


The Cesium ion terrain pipeline is written for global-scale high resolution datasets. It supports any format supported by GDAL.

Its out-of-core implementation can tile massive datasets even with constrained memory and on commodity hardware.

Terrain data can be processed in any provided projection, and it will automatically be reprojected into WGS84 (EPSG:4326).

Interested in trying it out?

Email Tim Rivenbark for a demo.

Technical Resources

Check out the full documentation for the on-premises 3D Tiling Pipeline.