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Tiling Photogrammetry Models

Cesium ion allows you to tile large photogrammetry or LiDAR-derived meshes into 3D Tiles — so you can share them on the web without simplifying them. This guide explains how.


If you have other 3D models like BIM/CAD, see the 3D models upload guide.

A photogrammetry model of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Photogrammetry of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA, visualized in CesiumJS.


You need a Cesium ion account to take this tutorial.


Cesium ion is an open platform for tiling and hosting. It will serve your photogrammetry as 3D Tiles to any compatible client, like CesiumJS.

Supported formats

FormatFile extensions
Wavefront OBJ.obj
Digital Asset Exchange.dae
Binary glTF.glb
  • Files may be zipped.
  • Your model must use local coordinates (the geometry must be centered around the origin).
  • Units are assumed to be in meters.


Cesium ion tiles your model into 3D Tiles when you upload it. Here’s a sample photogrammetry model you can download to try this out.

  1. On the My Assets tab of Cesium ion, press Add Data to upload your model.
  2. Select 3D Capture.

Add multiple models at the same time to merge them into a single 3D Tileset.

Data import my assets import

You’ll find a code example for adding this asset to your CesiumJS app at the bottom of the asset preview window.

Learn how to set up a CesiumJS app with the quickstart guide.


If your model is not georeferenced, there are a couple ways you can place it at the right location on the globe.


  • If your model geometry is in a geographic coordinate system, you’ll need to reproject it to a local reference frame before uploading.
  • 3D Tiles allows you to stream massive models to any device by only loading in higher levels of detail when you zoom in.

Content and code examples at are available under the Apache 2.0 license. You can use the code examples in your commercial or non-commercial applications.