3D geospatial platform spinout aims to unlock real-world data

July 12, 2019 // By Rich Pell
3D geospatial platform spinout aims to unlock real-world data
Commercial modeling and analysis software developer Analytical Graphics (Exton, PA) has announced the spin off of Cesium (Philadelphia, PA) as an independent company to fuel the growth of its 3D geospatial platform.

Launched with a $5 million Series A investment from Falcon Global Capital, the new company offers a platform designed to enable software developers and data providers to build dynamic, interactive 3D geospatial applications. 3D geospatial data is more easily available, at a higher resolution, and more frequently refreshed than ever before, says the company, and its goal is to make it accessible, shareable, and ultimately usable.

"The sheer volume of real world 3D data being collected is creating opportunities in almost every field," says Cesium CEO Patrick Cozzi, creator of Cesium and a recognized expert in 3D graphics and geospatial technologies. "This spinout and investment will allow us to accelerate the entire industry by building the platform that will enable the future 3D geospatial ecosystem."

3D data is currently being collected from sources ranging from cameras and LIDAR on satellites, aircrafts, drones, cars, and IoT devices to AI-generated semantics to open data policies to crowdsourcing. Cesium says it is building technology that will unlock the potential of this real-world 3D data.

Their vision, says the company, is a world where developers easily build 3D data into their apps, data providers share massive models and datasets in seconds with just a link, and data and insights gleaned from 3D data are used across industries and wherever they provide value. Currently several organizations are using the company's platform:

  • The National Geospatial Agency uses Cesium for 3D web visualization of its Map of the World.
  • Mozilla uses the platform to add real world 3D data to its virtual reality framework.
  • The Toyota Research Institute uses Cesium to visualize the 3D environment captured by sensors on their autonomous cars
  • And each year NORAD uses Cesium to track Santa's path around the globe on Christmas Eve.

Cesium began as an internal project at AGI in 2011 when a team of computer graphics developers set out to fill the need for temporal geospatial visualizations on the web. They built what became CesiumJS - an open-source 3D visualization engine that quickly garnered over half a million downloads.

Cesium is now a complete platform for 3D geospatial data based on 3D tiling pipelines, which transform massive and diverse 3D geospatial data into streamable 3D content that can be used on any device - online or offline. Cesium is also the creator of 3D Tiles, an open standard for 3D geospatial content adopted as a community standard by the Open Geospatial Consortium earlier this year.

The company says its mission is to deliver an open platform to stream, visualize, and analyze data that is accurate, performant, and time-dynamic on the web.

Cesium
Analytical Graphics

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