OSM2World: 3D OSM in your browser
2019-09-23, 09:30–09:50, Hörsaal Ost

OSM2World is an open-source renderer capable of creating rich 3D worlds from OpenStreetMap data. It is now available as a web application powered by WebGL.


OpenStreetMap contains a wealth of data that can be used to build a 3D representation of our world. Some of it, such as buildings mapped using the Simple 3D Buildings tagging convention, is intended primarily for 3D use cases. Other feature classes, such as roads and railways, urban infrastructure, or landuse information, aren't usually mapped with 3D in mind, but are nevertheless essential ingredients of a 3D world. In either case, unlocking the full potential of OSM data and converting it into a representation that's suitable for typical use cases in the domain of 3D rendering requires specialized software tools.

OSM2World is one of these tools. Fully open source, it can be used to export 3D data for modelling software, animations, and games, as a library in other programs, and as an interactive map on the web. Until recently, however, the lack of a powerful 3d rendering solution for the web put constraints on the features available without a local installation of the software. Today, the WebGL standard allows real-time 3D rendering in all major browsers. A new web frontend for OSM2World builds on these capabilities to allow users to explore the world in 3D, based entirely on open data.

This talk demonstrates the abilities of OSM2World and its new web frontend, showcases some impressive 3D mapping around the world, and briefly explores how the software works behind the scenes.


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