3D Models in 2D view?

I've been looking into mapping toolkits and having playing around in the sandbox it appears Cesium does nearly everything I want a toolkit to do.

About the only thing I'd like to be able to do is use 3D models in a 2D view. Essentially I'll be displaying aircraft and wish to show aircraft attitude/orientation with the aircraft positioned at its location on the map. Playing around in the sand box I got a "good enough" version of this by using the 3D view, putting the model height at 0 and disabling the users tilt+freelook using scenecamera, but I figured it would hurt to ask if there is more 2D native way.

So is there any way to use the 3D models from within a 2D view at all?


Native support for models in 2D is on the roadmap (#927) and will be just as you described - it will show the model, top-down, including position and orientation. I don’t expect us to get to it for several months, but if you want to try to accelerate it, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the right folks at AGI. Otherwise, your workaround is reasonable. You could also use a billboard in 2D with the alignedAxis and rotation properties.


Awesome! Now I can use the toolkit with even greater confidence. Just like to add my 2cents that it would be great if all 3 DoF for rotation are left in when in 2D mode. Even though it can sometimes cause ambiguous looking model rotations (is the aircraft inverted or upright?) it still conveys more information that yaw alone or yaw/pitch.

Perhaps with more experience and less demanding schedules I can aid in the effort down the road.

Yeap, the 2D view would show 3 DoF. In general, 2D in Cesium is really top-down 3D with an orthographic projection so the model will still be 3D.