Cesium World Terrain fuses several data sources into a single quantized-mesh terrain tileset optimized for 3D map visualization. It is hosted by Cesium ion’s modern cloud architecture for efficient streaming into CesiumJS and other 3D engines.




Coverage Approximate resolution in meters
England 1 m to 2 m
Australia populated areas and coasts 5 m
New Zealand 8 m
United States West Coast 50 cm
United States 3 m to 30 m
Canada 30 m
Europe 30 m
Mexico 30 m
Approximately -60 to 60 degrees latitude 30–90 m
Entire Earth 1,000 m

CesiumJS Code Example

Using Cesium 1.43 or newer:

var viewer = new Cesium.Viewer('container', {
    terrainProvider : Cesium.createWorldTerrain()



On Premise

Available for offline use. Contact Tim Rivenbark, Cesium’s Business Development Director, for details.



Cesium World Terrain contains two quantized-mesh extensions.

Water Mask

The water mask extension includes coastline data used for rendering water effects.

water mask extension

CesiumJS Code Example

var viewer = new Cesium.Viewer('container', {
    terrainProvider : Cesium.createWorldTerrain({
        requestWaterMask : true


Oct-encoded per-vertex normals provide an efficient encoding of normal vectors that represent the terrain surface’s curvature at the given position. In CesiumJS, normals are used for terrain lighting. This is especially useful for highlighting surface curvature when high-resolution imagery is not used.

normals with lighting   normals without lighting
With lighting.   Without lighting.

CesiumJS Code Example

var viewer = new Cesium.Viewer('container', {
    terrainProvider : Cesium.createWorldTerrain({
        requestVertexNormals : true

Tiling Notes

Cesium World Terrain was curated and tiled for efficient 3D visualization. Leaf tiles contain pre-generated meshes of the highest-resolution source data for that location; level of detail for non-leaf tiles was created with a terrain-specific simplification algorithm computing geometric error for run-time level-of-detail control.

Terms of Use

The Terms of Use include the Cesium ion Terms of Service and the following tileset-specific Terms of Use:

Copyright © 2013–2018 Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI). All Rights Reserved. This tileset may not be copied or used except under the terms described in the Terms of Use or by a separate written agreement with AGI.

  • You may not copy, store, or redistribute any portion of the tileset for use in an offline, disconnected, or local environment. Client-side and proxy-based caching are allowed as long as it is a general caching mechanism caching other internet traffic as well, not just Cesium World Terrain data.
  • You must clearly display the attribution for this tileset defined below.
  • You agree that Cesium World Terrain is provided as-is and at-will, and will not hold AGI responsible for anything bad that happens as a result of your use of the tileset or your inability to use the tileset.
  • You agree that these terms of use may change at any time, and that your continued use of the tileset constitutes acceptance of the new terms.


CesiumJS automatically displays attribution. Do not remove or modify it.

When using Cesium World Terrain outside of CesiumJS, you must clearly display the Cesium ion logo in the application’s window and include the following source data attributions:

Source Attribution
NZ 8m Digital Elevation Model (2012) LINZ - Land Information New Zealand
Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of Australia derived from LiDAR 5 Metre Grid Based on Geoscience Australia material
LIDAR Composite DTM - 1m & 2m © Environment Agency copyright and/or database right 2015. All rights reserved.
Digital Elevation Model over Europe (EU-DEM) Produced using Copernicus data and information funded by the European Union - EU-DEM layers
GTOPO30, SRTM, and National Elevation Dataset (NED) Data available from the U.S. Geological Survey

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Looking for more information?

Contact Tim Rivenbark, Cesium's Business Development Director.