World Terrain Lighting


Update: STK World Terrain has been deprecated, see Introducing Cesium World Terrain

Analytical Graphics, Inc (AGI) is proud to announce that the public STK World Terrain dataset has been updated! This significant update follows the release of the STK Terrain Server v1.0 and includes a number of new features and terrain improvements.

You may have noticed back in Cesium 1.0 that we added extensions to the Quantized-Mesh 1.0 format and provided implementation for terrain vertex lighting. The updated STK World Terrain dataset supports a new extension for terrain lighting and can be enabled for any applications built on Cesium 1.0 or greater. To see for yourself, run this simple example in Sandcastle:

var viewer = new Cesium.Viewer('cesiumContainer');
viewer.scene.globe.enableLighting = true;
viewer.terrainProvider = new Cesium.CesiumTerrainProvider({
    url : '//',
    requestVertexNormals : true

This feature really shines when using a flat shaded, or low resolution imagery set. For comparision, consider this STK World Terrain scene of Hawk Mountain, Pennsylvania using the offline imagery, Natural Earth II, with and without terrain lighting.

With Terrain Lighting Without Terrain Lighting

STK World Terrain tileset is a product of STK Terrain Server. We construct the tileset by combining several input data sources (DEM, GeoTIFF, etc.) and processing them to create a tileset that is ready for fast, accurate 3D visualization in the Quantized-Mesh 1.0 open format. This tileset is constructed and maintained by AGI and made available under the Terms of Use. The STK Terrain Server can also be licensed for deployment on a private network to create and host terrain within your organization.

AGI will continue to incorporate new datasets into the public STK World Terrain dataset, so if there is public elevation data available that you’d like to see in the world terrain dataset, please let us know.

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