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Cesium Collaborating with the Smithsonian on Open Access

Earlier this week, the Smithsonian Institution announced its plan to release millions of 2D and 3D images, public collections metadata, and institutional research datasets for use by the public for any purpose.

As part of that announcement, we joined a small group of early collaborators tasked with providing inspiring examples of how these digital assets might be used by researchers and educators around the world.

Cesium table at the Open Access launch event at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

For our project, we used Cesium Stories to put a high resolution 3D model of the Space Shuttle Discovery from the Smithsonian’s collection into a geospatial context.

As you can imagine, a 3D model of a huge object like Discovery is massive, but thanks to 3D Tiles, we were able to achieve an incredible milestone by streaming it over the web for the very first time in high resolution.

Attendees were blown away by the level of detail visible in the 3D model.

As big believers in the spirit of open access and making data more useful and accessible, we are thrilled that our technology is supporting the Smithsonian’s mission to uphold “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

Visitors gathered at our table to explore the model and learn more about Cesium and 3D Tiles.

We celebrated our project with space shuttle giveaways.

Moving forward, we’re excited to continue collaborating with the Smithsonian to make more 3D models of large objects from their collection easier to share.

Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the Open Access Initiative.

Explore the model and learn more about the collaboration here.