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Major Japanese Newspaper Using Cesium Stories to Report on the War in Ukraine

Dr. Hidenori Watanave, Cesium Certified Developer, and the Yomiuri Shimbun, a major newspaper in Japan, have partnered to publish a series of articles about the war in Ukraine. The innovative journalism in these seven articles combines text, images, and interactive 3D models in Cesium Stories to give readers a clear picture of the war on the ground. 

The series of articles combines traditional text and images with interactive Cesium Stories to depict the impact of the war in Ukraine. To learn more about the work Dr. Watanave has done with Cesium, see his larger collections of Cesium Stories on Ukraine, updated almost daily. Or watch his recent interview with NHK World Japan.

The articles cover personal stories of those impacted by the war, from individuals living in partially destroyed buildings in Borodyanka to refugees rebuilding in Moschun to youth playing soccer on a damaged field in Irpin. 

3D model of destroyed house in Ukraine

Ukrainians have created 3D models of scenes throughout the country, like this destroyed house in Moshchun. Mykhailo Dzhos captured the imagery, and the photogrammetry model was produced by Anatolii Umanets. Hidenori Watanave georeferenced the model and placed it in Cesium Stories. 

The articles are made much more meaningful by the embedded Cesium Stories. Each story, written in Japanese and Ukrainian, includes a map to orient readers to the location of the article, and photographs, 3D buildings, and 3D models of the scene of ground with photogrammetry models created by Ukrainian citizens. 

Damaged apartment buildings in Ukraine, shown in Cesium Stories

The text of the articles, together with interactive Cesium Stories, provide readers a more complete experience.

Cesium Stories makes the capabilities of interactive 3D geospatial accessible even to those without coding experience. The tool is designed for creating interactive presentations to guide users through 3D scenes while also allowing them to explore on their own. 

This story accompanies an article about a key bridge destroyed in Irpin. Photographs of the bridge are interspersed with interactive 3D models, shown together with 3D buildings, terrain, and satellite imagery to provide geospatial context. 

Creators can start with base layers available through Cesium ion, including global Cesium World Terrain and Bing Maps satellite imagery. By adding their own data, like the photogrammetry models Dr. Watanave has added to these stories, they create custom scenes. The data creators upload is tiled and hosted by Cesium ion, making even large datasets accessible to any viewer on the web. 

This article covers an area of Irpin where about 100 cars, abandoned and destroyed during the war, have been collected and subsequently painted with sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine.

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