WebVR Mapping Projects
Robert Koch, March 2022
Overview: This is a comparison of two existing projects that use A-Frame to create virtual environments based off of real-world map data. The two projects are described and linked below.
This project uses publicly-available data from OpenStreetMap to generate flat ground tiles with map information (roads, water, etc), trees, and 3D renderings of buildings
Areas are flat and only a certain radius around the starting point is loaded, so this is not ideal for large-scale mapping activities (eg. topographical analysis)
The OpenStreetMap data (roads/ground tiles, building models, and trees) used in this project has been compared to the data in Google Earth VR on this page.
This project uses topographical map data from Cesium, which includes 3D renders of satellite data
However, 3D building data is only available for the Bay Area (unlike OpenStreetMap, which provides global building data)
This project lends itself more to large-scale analysis and activities where 3D renderings of topography are needed
The example pictured above can be found here. Use the URL to adjust the latitude, longitude, and elevation as needed. You can see that some areas (eg. Providence) are not rendered in much detail when you get to lower elevations.