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Free Cesium for O3DE plugin creates a real-time virtual Earth

Thursday, February 17th, 2022 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Geospatial software firm Cesium has released Cesium for O3DE, a new open-source plugin that makes it possible to stream high-resolution geospatial data into the open-source game engine.

The plugin can generate a full-scale digital replica of the Earth based on the WGS84 standard inside O3DE, released last year as a successor to AWS’s free Lumberyard engine.

Create a real-time replica of the Earth for games or architectural visualisation
Cesium for O3DE is Cesium’s second integration for a game engine – the second of “many to come”, according to the firm – following the release of Cesium for Unreal last year.

Like its UE4 counterpart, the new plugin enables developers to use high-resolution 3D geospatial data, such as that captured by aerial photogrammetry and LIDAR scans, to reproduce the real world inside the engine.

It can generate a complete virtual Earth based on the WGS84 standard used by GPS systems, or ‘digital twins’ of parts of the real world for use in games, architectural visualisations or military training apps.

A runtime 3D Tiles engine makes it possible to stream “massive 3D geospatial datasets” into O3DE, and provides level of detail and caching functionality.

The plugin also integrates with Script Canvas, O3DE’s visual scripting sytem.

Integrated with Cesium.ion, but should work with other data sources
To make use of Cesium for O3DE, users need a source of geospatial data to pull into the game engine.

By default, that’s Cesium ion, Cesium’s own platform, which provides streamable content including world terrain, buildings and imagery from Bing Maps, and which is integrated inside the plugin.

However, the plugin is open-source, so developers can create their own integrations for other platforms.

Pricing and system requirements
The Cesium for O3DE plugin is free, and is compatible with O3DE 21.11+. The source code is available under an Apache 2.0 licence.

The compiled plugin is available for Windows only, but Linux users can compile it from source.

Cesium ion is free for non-commercial use, although there are limits on the amount of data that can be streamed each month; commercial subscriptions start at $149/month.

Read more about Cesium for O3DE on Cesium’s blog

Download the free Cesium for O3DE 1.0 plugin (Compiled version, for Windows only)

Find the source code for the plugin on GitHub

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