Bentley will help apply Cesium technology to infrastructure projects, streaming large datasets through a browser

Beaver Stadium at Penn State. Image courtesy of the Cesium Consortium

Bentley Systems has joined Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) as a founding member of the Cesium consortium, with a view to applying the Cesium browser-based virtual globe technology to infrastructure projects.

Cesium is an open source technology, first developed by AGI in 2011 for the aerospace and defense communities. It is designed to stream very large datasets through a browser to desktops, tablets, and smart phones, which makes it well suited to geospatial viewing.

According to Bentley, the consortium will enable AGI and Bentley to collaborate on the Cesium roadmap to better accelerate and support the requirements for building infrastructure modeling (BIM) and for owners of infrastructure assets.

Bentley Systems is adopting Cesium to visualise and interact with highly detailed infrastructure engineering models set in the reality context of their surrounding environment.

The digital engineering models are created with Bentley’s MicroStation and BIM applications, and the context is provided through reality meshes, created from digital photography and scanning devices using Bentley’s ContextCapture.

HUB-Robeson Center at Penn State. Image courtesy of the Cesium Consortium

Keith Bentley, founder and CTO of Bentley Systems, said, “We are thrilled to join the Cesium Consortium as a founding member. I commend AGI for their leadership and vision, not only for creating an open source solution for highly performant 3D web-based applications but, more importantly, for fostering an ecosystem to leverage it. I expect Bentley and our users will build Cesium-based Web clients for immersively viewing BIM models, reality context, asset databases, IoT streams, and myriad other ‘Geo3D’ services. We look forward to working hand in hand with AGI and future members of the consortium to expand Cesium as an open standard.”

Bentley has already started working with Cesium. Data created with both MicroStation and ContextCapture can be exported to 3D Tiles, an open format developed by the Cesium team to stream massive geo-coordinated 3D datasets. According to Bentley, Cesium will enable Bentley users to stream their digital engineering models over the Web to desktop and mobile devices with what it describes as unprecedented performance and precision.

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