| The roads I take... | Weekly Status Report, W28/2011 >>

OpenWebGlobe - 3D World in the Browser

The "State of the Map - Europe" conference in Vienna was a full success, 200 members of the OpenStreetMap community had inspiring talks and discussions here and everyone had a lot of fun and inspiration. I also couldn't be more proud of acting as a Mozilla representative on the conference and I had a lot of interesting discussions in that role, including people being thrilled that Mozilla sponsors such and event "just" to move openness and innovation on the web forward. But that's not what this post is about, I actually want to highlight one thing I heard about in a talk there.

Martin Christen from Switzerland had a really great talk on the OpenWebGlobe SDK today, and I was completely thrilled to see this as it does a lot of things I had wished for in the days before. When there I dreamed about "something similar in spirit to Google Earth, but completely in the browser", I didn't know yet that the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland was already working on the basis for all that and had demos pointing in that direction.



Doesn't that look cool? Remember that this is actually running as a 3D environment in the browser - and directly in HTML, not needing any plugin!
Oh, and all its code is open source software (the web viewer is available via github under MIT license, there's a download for the SDK, I didn't check its license but I think it's MIT as well)!

OpenWebGlobe for WebGL is in an alpha stage, but it's usable under Firefox now (other WebGL-capable browsers might work but haven't been tested enough). Martin said they found that JavaScript is still not as fast as they'd like, esp. when compared to their tests on native C++ code using the same base SDK. Maybe Mozilla developers can help there and make JavaScript even faster than it is now. ;-)

In any case, check out the work of his team, it's absolutely awesome. If you don't believe me yet, there's even an alpha preview you can test yourself right now! :)

And a video of his talk will become available very soon (watch out for a camera icon in the box for his talk on the SotM-EU schedule), if you're interested in what he presented in Vienna.

Entry written by KaiRo and posted on July 17th, 2011 19:30 | Tags: Mozilla, OSM, WebGL | 3 comments | TrackBack

Comments

AuthorEntry

Pavel Cvrcek

from Pilsen, Czech Republic

quote
Just for Firefox at this moment
At this moment it is just for Firefox: "Sorry your browser is now supported. This alpha preview only runs on Firefox 4."
2011-07-17 20:47

aelileia

quote
Maybe not working on Firefox after all?
I get the error message "Can't find webgl context" -- and I am running Aurora 7 :(
2011-07-17 22:47

KaiRo

Webmaster

quote
It works on SeaMonkey 2.2 (so not just Firefox) when you're on a system that can enable WebGL - unfortunately some OS/graphics-driver combinations can't enable it yet, look into about:support (bottom section) to find out about that.
Also be aware that at least Linux is rather slow on doing WebGL right now, as no hardware acceleration is enabled there yet. The Mozilla graphics team is working on that - still, if you know some things about graphics coding, I'm sure they'd appreciate some help! ;-)
2011-07-18 13:02

Add comment