Open Source 3D Globes - osgEarth

Session Type: 
Tech Session
Glenn Waldron, Pelican Mapping

osgEarth is a powerful 3D terrain rendering SDK written in C++. Think of it as a free, open source, open standards-compliant foundation for building an application similar to Google Earth. osgEarth visualizes geospatial data from a wide variety of data sources through its plugin architecture and integrates easily with existing GIS infrastructures by supporting open standards such as those from OSGeo and OGC. osgEarth builds on proven OSS technologies like OpenSceneGraph and GDAL and is used in a variety of commercial and government applications.

In addition to global visualization of imagery, elevation, and vector, osgEarth provides many advanced features driven by the requirements of a diverse customer base. Here’s a sampling of the many things you can do with osgEarth:

  • Create terrain models – either offline, or dynamically at run-time
  • Load whole-earth terrains without writing any code
  • Visualize OGC-compliant web mapping data
  • Combine multiple imagery, elevation, and vector data sources on the fly
  • Set up map tile caches to maximize performance
  • Layer imagery to produce high-resolution insets
  • Drape GIS vector data on the terrain
  • Reproject data among different spatial reference systems
  • Place external models on the terrain with lat/long coordinates


Our presentation will provide an overview of the SDK, its “no-code-required” approach to building 3D maps, and a demonstration of osgEarth’s capabilities.

Speaker Bio: 

Glenn Waldron is the primary maintainer of the osgEarth project - a C++ SDK for 3D global visualization. He has spent 17 years in the visual simulation industry as a software developer and systems engineer. Glenn is currently President of Pelican Mapping, a small software engineering company focused on open source 3D visualization.

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