Q&A with Patrick Cozzi

CEO of Cesium and the creator of Cesium and 3D Tiles

By: USGIF  | September 2, 2020


What does it mean for Cesium to win the GEOINT 2020 Innovation Tradecraft Competition?

Our goal is to serve the GEOINT community with an open platform that offers increased 3D situational awareness and tools to make faster, more informed decisions, so it’s an honor to be recognized for our work advancing interoperability with 3D Tiles. We are very grateful to USGIF and OGC for facilitating because when the community gathers in the spirit of collaboration, we all win.

What is 3D Tiles?

3D Tiles is an open specification for streaming and rendering 3D geospatial data, created by Cesium and adopted by the Open Geospatial Consortium. 3D Tiles enables efficient and interoperable workflows from data capture to dissemination over the web, offline, and across devices.

The wide adoption of 3D Tiles has made it possible for the community to share data across government agencies in addition to industrial use cases like smart construction, smart cities, and more.

Why does Cesium as a company create and champion open standards such as 3D Tiles?

Cesium has embraced openness because we believe that’s the fastest way to accelerate the field. Collaboration in our community depends on interoperability, and in order to have interoperability, we need open standards.

How does Cesium empower government agencies like NGA?

The ability to take 3D geospatial data of nearly any kind—terrain, imagery, point clouds, and drone captures—and create a highly accurate scene for a geospatial intelligence product and then share it with just a URL is crucial. Good intelligence requires effective communication to be of value, and we need new ways of presenting information that take advantage of 3D’s benefits. Our Cesium Stories offering was created with this need in mind—a format for conveying information using time-dynamic 3D that can be easily shared without writing code.

What’s next for Cesium?

Part of our strategy for advancing the field is increasing work at the intersection of computer graphics and geospatial. One of the most exciting things in this area is our partnership with Epic Games to build Cesium for Unreal Engine. This will be the first time a full-scale, high-precision 3D globe is plugged into a leading game engine. By enabling 3D Tiles to be streamed into Unreal for accurate visualization of real-world locations captured by satellites and drones, we’ll make strides in industries like autonomous driving, and augmented and virtual reality. For military training and simulation, the ability to train and plan in an environment that is as close to the real thing as possible provides operational and competitive advantages.

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