I3S – an open standard to bring 3D to Web, Desktop and Mobile platforms

By Tamrat Belayneh

Elevator Pitch

You’ll learn how an Indexed 3D Scene Layer (I3S) enables streaming of massive amounts of geospatial content, in the form of hundreds of billions point cloud data as well as millions of 3d object data to web browsers, mobile apps and desktop.


An Indexed 3d Scene Layer (I3S), is an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard for streaming massive amounts of heterogeneously distributed geospatial data for an interactive experience for web, desktop, mobile and embedded clients.

I3S supports storage and transmission of very large data consisting of millions of discrete 3D objects with attributes, integrated surface meshes and point cloud data covering vast geographic areas. Ability to stream millions of triangles and billions of point cloud, regardless of platform constraints, has opened a new 3D graphics and visual computing front in the geospatial world, where there is an increasing demand for high quality 3D application.

In this workshop, we will describe principles and concepts for organizing geospatial data based on bounding volume hierarchy (BVH), various spatial subdivision algorithms, efficient mesh representation, as well as point cloud and texture compression/decompression techniques will be explored, while keeping the content friendly to GPUs. We will also demonstrate various examples of the different layer types and profiles that are supported in I3S. The session will conclude with tips and recommendation in data preparation for optimal visualization and analysis experience.

More on I3S technology could be found @ https://github.com/Esri/i3s-spec. The OGC standard for I3S is located @ https://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/i3s


The I3S technology released as a free and open standard by Esri has been adopted as an OGC community standard for over a year and half and is already evolving vastly. This session will describe the progress made thus far and outline also the road ahead.