More than 14 million registered users come to Outdooractive to share trails for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and winter sports. The app, which is used by both outdoor enthusiasts and professionals in the tourism industry, boasts hundreds of thousands of routes, which Pro users can explore over high quality 3D terrain in CesiumJS.
Guillaume Lathoud, Senior Software Architect on the project, said of his experience developing with CesuimJS:
"Outdooractive needed a long-term solution to produce 3D videos. For that, I selected CesiumJS and never regretted it. In particular, the stable, solid API, as well as the Sandcastle environment and examples, make it easy to understand and experiment.
"In some rare cases of deeper issues, having CesiumJS as open source makes it possible to understand the situation and to solve it. This recently culminated with my contributing to the CesiumJS atmosphere rendering performance. The interaction with the team was very positive.
"Overall, the choice to make CesiumJS available as open source has definitely produced a win-win situation, which is magnified by the consistently positive, open, and responsive attitude of the Cesium team when interacting with developers."
"Outdooractive needed a long-term solution to produce 3D videos. For that, I selected CesiumJS and never regretted it. In particular, the stable, solid API, as well as the Sandcastle environment and examples, make it easy to understand and experiment."
Before a trip, Outdooractive users come to the app looking for inspiration and information. In addition to maps and elevation profiles, Pro+ subscribers have access to a 3D map of any route, shown with CesiumJS. An interactive window allows users to explore the route, and an automatically generated preview video takes them on a tour of the trip.
Critically for outdoor sports, this 3D environment provides a clearer picture of the elevation changes over a route. And high resolution satellite imagery helps users get a sense of the terrain, whether that be wooded paths, loose gravel, or rocky sections. With a more complete picture of an anticipated trip, users are better able to estimate risks and avoid pitfalls so they have a good experience.
Users can create routes based on their GPS tracks and visualize them in an interactive 3D environment built with CesiumJS. They can further enhance those routes with detailed descriptions, images, up-to-date weather displays, and information about current conditions; and can make these routes available to the larger Outdooractive community.
Users can also choose to create a video that shows a 3D animation of the trail in CesiumJS. Outdooractive offers a few simple settings to configure the length and background music of a 3D video. A low-flying flight plan is computed to show as much landscape as possible while remaining close to the route. In addition, icons indicate geolocated images and selected points of interest within the animation and are displayed with a preview image.
Users can share these videos on Outdooractive and the dedicated Outdooractive Youtube channel or embed them on their own sites. The videos are popular among both Outdooractive’s B2C users, who create them to memorialize their experiences, and among B2B users, who provide information about the outdoor experiences in their area to inform and attract visitors. As a result, the reach of these 3D routes is far beyond their registered users, with countless visitors benefiting from the CesiumJS visualizations.
Cesium is all about bringing people better insights by connecting the digital and physical world. We’re happy to see Cesium at work on Outdooractive’s platform, helping people understand and get out into nature and share their experiences with their community.
To get started building your own CesiumJS application, try out our Quickstart Tutorial.