This is a long time ago now, but I suppose I should give you the update!
We’ve just wrapped up a handful of research projects with AURIN at the University of Melbourne, aimed at building a open-source geoapstial visualisation and analysis platform to support the academic community, especially civil engineers without large software budgets. Here’s a summary of the libraries we developed, with a list of references to applications that are built on the technology.
In summary, Atlas is an abstract 3D geospatial rendering API that is rendering library-independent. Atlas-Cesium was our implementation of the Atlas API using Cesium for the rendering. Along with them, we have an Asset Conversion Service (ACS) to convert common open data formats (such as SHP, GeoJSON, KML, KMZ, IFC) into a custom format that Atlas-Cesium can render. Together they make it much easier to develop applications, since they take care of common operations like rendering polygons with extrusion, selection and heatmaps. Our team built a few apps on top of it, as did a partner team at RMIT University, so it was relatively successful. Let me know if you’re interested in some more details.
For the work we’re doing now, we need more low-level control over the rendering, and less global-scale functionality, so we’re rolling our own renderer, but we were very impressed with what Cesium was capable of. Our main issues were support for different data formats (especially the finnicky details of 3D meshes, which are always difficult), rendering a large number of entities at once (we would struggle with over about 4,000 simple extruded polygons), and lack of shadows (as per this thread), but overall it was great. Thank you to you and your team on behalf of the research community!