3D development

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The popular 3D OSM tools

This page coordinates the development of 3D applications using OpenStreetMap Data.



The following users currently work on 3D related topics:





Coordinated tasks

Even with most people working on their own projects, there are some shared resources and standards that could be used across projects or need support by the community to contribute data.

Feel free to chat on this topic at our dedicated 3D OSM forum.

3D model repository

As we all see the very limited features of a LOD1 model by extruding buildings along a OSM way, we all wish to have a repository to get detailed models from. Possible questions are:

  • How can mappers easily create 3D models using which software?
  • How can we store a catalog of POI models? How to browse/search them?
  • How can we store/mark general models (e.g. a common bench in New York)
  • Which 3D format can be used to exchange? How to store materials?
  • How can we link relative positions (e.g. to next road)
  • How can we create procedural 3D models (e.g. allotments are filled with small gardens and houses) to extend the procedure

See also: O3DM

Common tagging features

Describing low level models by tags

Most developers agreed to support use this tagging schema as a lowest common denominator: Simple 3D Buildings

In addition, most tools use one or several of the following tagging schemes to create 3D scenes:

OSM-3D Screenshots gives a nice overview, where 3D objects are already in heavy use.

Example Models just a start to collect buildings modeled according to Simple 3D Buildings.

Streaming services

Because of the massive grow by applying the 3rd dimension, it becomes more important to outsource the calculation/storage to a dedicated server. The client has only to download/cache tiles of the 3D world similar to games, where entering a new level means to unpack the level data. OSM-3D has such client/server architecture.

osm2x3d service

openearthview web site provide a simple service relying on osm2x3d tool:


It's a demo version but aims to be improved as a release in the future (with cache on disk).

LoD (Level of Detail - cf OSM-4D) will be taken into account. At the moment, zoom level 19 is the max and allow to get building divided in floors.


There are many unresolved questions and ideas related to 3D modelling. Some discussion can be found on subpages:

See also