Google Photorealistic 3D Tileset -- Terrain data?

Does the google tileset provide an ability to query elevation of the landscape (building scape)?

Just by adding the tileset, it doesn’t seem like the 3d imagry provides any simple terrain data, ie picker doesn’t give an altitude other than 0.

EDIT: Ah, just read the media release for Cesium partnering with Google to deliver 3D tiles. I guess that’s your question. The tiles wouldn’t have any other data in addition to its tiles, but it’s a good question in whether the tiles are adjusted for terrain or not? Would be cool if you could have both, like properties with flat and terrain coordinates, and you could to transforms based on what you need.



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Which tileset are you referring to? Just a map ImagesLayer? Then no. But you can either get other resources from Google (don’t know which and how) or you can use the Google Maps API to grab terrain data (look into QFS(?) to see it in action). Bing has one, MapBox has an API endpoint, or you can use the Cesium Ion global terrain, and so on.

It all comes down to what you’re using it for, and what accuracy you need from it. You do mention 3D and “building scape”, not sure if you mean the 3D buildings/resources in Google Earth, maybe? (They have the problem of being clamped to the terrain, to which ever accuracy the terrain might be, and the original data is assumed against the flat earth/ellipsoid which you can’t use)

All of these global providers have some form of simple and rough way to get some terrain info, but if you need actual accuracy you need some other means, either a global provider with (costly) APIs, or a locally created terrain (either as a DTM to drape a map over the ellipsoid, or even a mesh model or a pointcloud (with some disclaimers to picking, ask me later if you go this way).

What’s the application? How accurate do you need it?



This is throwing a wrench in my implementation also. I had some mixed success by ignoring the instructions to set globe = false, but the height reference setting of my 3D models gets wonky in some locations. Would love to see a good solution for this to use this tileset.

Hi all,

Google Photorealistic 3D Tiles deliver 3D Tiles only and do not include any terrain-specific data such as quantized mesh. There are some instances where the tiles are below the ellipsoid, which is why we suggest disabling or hiding the globe with = false.

Do you mean when using the picking API, such as scene.pickPosition, or are you referring to another tool?


If you’re looking to use model entities relative to 3D Tiles rather than terrain, I would suggest bumping this feature request with you interest and info about possible use cases.


Hi !

I’ve recently started using CelsiumJs among with google 3d tiles, loving it so far

i think my use case is the same as the thread author, i want to position a marker on top of a building,

was wondering if there are some updates regarding getting the building height from the 3d tiles ?


I’m not sure if @jhjordan is referring to the same issue as the OP, but in our implementation what sounds like a similar issue… it looks like the google map tiles show up at a slightly different altitude from the default cesium globe.
See this example where we can toggle between the two and when 3D tiles are on, the data disappears below the map
(let me know if this is a different issue and I can move it to a new post)

Hi there,

Sampling height from 3D Tiles such as Google Photorealistic 3D Tiles is still pending. But keep an eye on that issue. We’re thinking work might start on that soon.