Future of sensor and dynamic vector features

We are removing sensors and dynamic vectors in Cesium 1.0, specifically, these classes:

These features are niche, incomplete, and have a fair amount of issues written agaisnt them. AGI, who supports a significant amount of Cesium development, is developing a licensed visualization engine derived from Cesium that includes rewritten next-generation versions of these features. AGI, of course, continues to heavily support core Cesium development.

If there is enough interest, we’ll move these classes to a plugin, which can be supported by community contributions. Users can also keep these classes on a custom Cesium branch.

We are not making a habit of removing features. This is a one-time realignment as we head towards 1.0.


within a profesionnel project, an engineer from a branch of AGI revealed me to Cesium. This graphical solution is very interesting against a classical AGI product thank to its OS independance (windows, linux, OSX...). The use of sensors is central for that project also I express my interest in moving sensor classes in a plug in.

Hi Patrick,

These are definitely sad news. I also use these sensor visualisation capabilities via generation of CZML.

I strongly support the idea of keeping these classes as plugins of Cesium.
Also, considering that CZML is “the Cesium Language” open format, removing these features would leave the project somewhat crippled, without any support for visualisation of core CZML structures (cone, pyramid and vector).
Would this change also impact the definition of these CZML structures?
Are you planning to pick up these features sometime in the future and include it in future Cesium versions?



Would this change also impact the definition of these CZML structures?

Yes, we’re working towards a more stable CZML spec as part of the Cesium 1.0 effort. The plan is to separate core CZML schema from extensions, just like there is core WebGL and extensions that add functionality. Sensors and vectors would be extensions. Almost everything else currently in CZML would be core spec.

This makes it more reasonable to implement a CZML renderer (complete sensor visualization is non-trivial) and will help CZML become a standard by lowering its barrier-to-entry.

Cesium will support the core CZML spec and the visualization engine AGI is developing will support CZML + extensions. We’re still thinking about what to do for existing CZML content, e.g., provide a converter, convert on the fly, break backward compatibility, etc.

Are you planning to pick up these features sometime in the future and include it in future Cesium versions?

In the foreseeable future, there are no plans.


We would be very interested with the current sensors and vectors being made available as a plugin to the furture plans of CESIUM. These objects are currently utilized and keeping this capability would be greatly appreciated.


Ack, don’t get rid of them! I am definitely very interested in keeping these around as a plugin. The CustomSensorVolume makes up a large part of our visualization.

Along these lines, should I expect the outerHalfAngle property to be working correctly? I have the following CZML, and as I change the outerHalfAngle value to things like 2.5, 3.5, 1.0, I get very inconsistent behavior. And if I set maximumClockAngle to anything less than 2PI I get weird behavior as well.




































Oops, disregard my question, just realized my outer half angle wasn’t in radians.

But still count me as a vote for the plugin!



Sensors are a must have. Please consider branching off into a plugin; I’m sure the Cesium community could keep the plugin going after the 1.0 release. Just my two cents.

Thanks for the feedback. We are going to move sensors to a community-supported plugin. Dynamic vectors will just be removed.

The plan for sensors is:

  • Remove sensors during the last week of Cesium 1.0 development (#1888) so we can keep them in sync with last minute changes. Cesium b30 still includes sensors.
  • Cesium 1.0 will be released on Friday, August 1 without sensors.
  • The following week, we will release a sensors plugin using the former Cesium code (#1887). This will be compatible with Cesium 1.0. AGI will rely on community contributions (using the same process as Cesium) to keep this up-to-date with future versions of Cesium.

As I mentioned prior, AGI will soon release a licensed Cesium-based visualization engine with much improved sensors and other goodness for the communities AGI typically serves. If this is something that interests you, keep your eyes open for an announcement here or ping AGI (info@agi.com).