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Cesium World Terrain

High resolution global 3D terrain

Cesium World Terrain fuses several data sources into a single quantized-mesh terrain tileset optimized for 3D map visualization and efficient streaming into CesiumJS, Cesium for Unreal, and other 3D engines.

Cesium World Terrain was curated and tiled for efficient 3D visualization. Leaf tiles contain pre-generated meshes of the highest-resolution source data for that location; level of detail for non-leaf tiles was created with a terrain-specific simplification algorithm that computes geometric error for run-time level-of-detail control.

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Asset specs

Format: quantized-mesh 1.0

Coverage: global


CoverageApproximate resolution in meters
England1 m to 2 m
Australia populated areas and coasts5 m
New Zealand8 m
United States West Coast50 cm
United States1 m to 30 m
Canada30 m
Europe30 m
Mexico30 m
Approximately -60 to 60 degrees latitude30 m to 90 m
Entire Earth1,000 m

CesiumJS code example

const viewer = new Cesium.Viewer('container', {
  terrain: Cesium.Terrain.fromWorldTerrain(),


Cesium World Terrain contains two quantized-mesh extensions.

Water mask

The water mask extension includes coastline data used for rendering water effects.

const viewer = new Cesium.Viewer('container', {
  terrain: Cesium.Terrain.fromWorldTerrain({
    requestWaterMask: true,


Oct-encoded per-vertex normals provide an efficient encoding of normal vectors that represent the terrain surface’s curvature at the given position. In CesiumJS, normals are used for terrain lighting. This is especially useful for highlighting surface curvature when high-resolution imagery is not used.

const viewer = new Cesium.Viewer('container', {
  terrain: Cesium.Terrain.fromWorldTerrain({
    requestVertexNormals: true,

Terms of use

The Terms of Use include the Cesium ion Terms of Service and the following tileset-specific Terms of Use:

Copyright © 2013–2024 Cesium GS, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This tileset may not be copied or used except under the terms described in the Terms of Use or by a separate written agreement with Cesium GS.

  • You may not copy, store, or redistribute any portion of the tileset for use in an offline, disconnected, or local environment. Client-side and proxy-based caching are allowed as long as it is a general caching mechanism caching other internet traffic as well, not just Cesium World Terrain data.
  • You must clearly display the attribution for this tileset defined below.
  • You agree that Cesium World Terrain is provided as-is and at-will, and will not hold Cesium GS responsible for anything bad that happens as a result of your use of the tileset or your inability to use the tileset.
  • You agree that these terms of use may change at any time, and that your continued use of the tileset constitutes acceptance of the new terms.


Cesium 3D engines automatically displays attribution. Do not remove or modify it.

When using Cesium World Terrain outside of a Cesium 3D engine, you must clearly display the Cesium ion logo in the application’s window and include the following source data attributions:

NZ 8m Digital Elevation Model (2012)LINZ - Land Information New Zealand
Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of Australia derived from LiDAR 5 Metre GridBased on Geoscience Australia material
LIDAR Composite DTM - 1m & 2m© Environment Agency copyright and/or database right 2015. All rights reserved.
Digital Elevation Model over Europe (EU-DEM)Produced using Copernicus data and information funded by the European Union - EU-DEM layers
GTOPO30, SRTM, and National Elevation Dataset (NED)Data available from the U.S. Geological Survey

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