Uploading Data to ion

Whether you have imagery, terrain, 3D buildings, point clouds, BIM/CAD, or photogrammetry, this guide provides an overview of uploading data to the ion tiling pipeline.

Asset types

Cesium ion accepts a variety data formats serves them as one of five types of assets:

3D Tiles An open specification for streaming massive heterogeneous 3D geospatial datasets. Check out Introducing 3D Tiles to learn more.
Imagery TMS and WMTS layers created from raster imagery.
Terrain A quantized-mesh tileset created from raster terrain.
glTF A binary glTF model.
Native The data is not processed by the tiling pipeline and is hosted in the same format it was uploaded as.

Data formats at a glance

The following table lists accepted data formats and their corresponding asset types:

Format 3D Tiles Terrain Imagery glTF Native
Zip Archive (.zip)  
glTF (.gltf, .glb)      
Filmbox (.fbx)      
CityGML (.citygml, .xml, .gml)        
CZML (.czml)        
GeoJSON (.json, .geojson, .topojson)        
KML (.kml, .kmz)      
LASer (.las, .laz)        
COLLADA (.dae)      
Wavefront OBJ (.obj)      
Floating Point Raster (.flt)      
Arc/Info ASCII Grid (.asc)      
Source Map (.src)      
GeoTIFF (.tiff, .tif)      
Erdas Imagine (.img)      
USGS ASCII DEM and CDED (.dem)      
JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg)        
PNG (.png)        
Cesium Terrain Database (.terraindb)        

While not listed in the above table, raster sidecar files (.aux.xml, .tab, .tfw, .wld, .prj, .ovr, .rrd, etc.) and model textures, (.jpg, .png, .bmp, .tga, .dds, etc.) are also supported. When in doubt, upload any additional files that came with your data.

If you have data in a format not listed here and would like to see ion support it, please let us know.

Limitations and caveats

  • The maximum combined size of source data that you can upload for a single asset is 20GB when uploading to ion directly, or 150 GB when uploading from an S3 bucket.

  • glTF, FBX, COLLADA, and OBJ files must be in local coordinates. Geographic (lat/long) or global cartesian coordinates are not supported.

  • When tiling KML as 3D Tiles:
    • Only Model geometry is supported. All other KML features will be removed during the tiling process.
    • Each Placemark’s name and ExtendedData values are embedded as per-feature properties. See an example of this data in the KML documentation.
  • CityGML, raster imagery, and raster terrain must include a coordinate reference system.

  • Raster terrain must be a single band of floating point or integer elevations.

  • When terrain clamping is enabled, CityGML will adjust the height of the following object types:
    • CityFurniture
    • GroundSurface
    • Track
    • Road
    • Railway
    • Square
    • ReliefFeature
    • LandUse
    • TransportationObject

If an error is encountered during the tiling process, we try our best to detect exactly what went wrong and report the error to you. If you encounter any of the above limitations in your data, please let us know.

We’re always happy to hear from you

If you need help, want to report an issue, or just want to say hi, you can open an issue on the ion community github repository or feel free send an email.