Module 08

Cesium Ion (& Mapbox)

Yesterday at the Mammoth Cave
Webcam archive
GEO 409: Advanced GIS


  • Open lab during class times next week.
  • a.k.a Collaboration Week.
  • Can't make it?
  • Let's Zoom!


  • Thursday Night Live music
  • downtown Lexington.

49th GiB Cartography Award

Examples from you!


Final module of semester


  • Gain familiarity with the popular uses of the Cesium platform.
  • Create a final web page.
  • Strengthen our understanding of how to publish content with HTML.

Final project

  • Pick an area of interest in Kentucky and map it.
    • You know how to get detailed data.
    • Make a Cesium Story map.
    • Explore two additional ways to visualize data.
    • Publish it to a new repository. Share it with the world.
  • Requirements in Mod 08

Cesium ion


  • 3D geospatial applications that can ingest many 3D data formats.
  • One the first open-source virtual globes.
  • Free 5 GB of hosted 3D data.

Stories from point clouds

  • Created Cesium ion Stories in 2020 to be the 'PowerPoint for point clouds'
  • and that's what we are going to make.
  • First, we need LAS files!

Cesium ion data

  • Check your lidar folder from the explore-lidar.ipynb Notebook.
  • Merged LAS from lidar-merge.ipynb notebook (modified explore-lidar.ipynb).
  • Practice with LAS file downloaded in a previous slide.
  • Upload to My Assets in Cesium ion

Open VS Code

  • Save the Embed code
  • into the lesson-map/index.html file
  • overwrite the existing code.

Tips for final project

  • In VS Code, edit lesson-map/index.html
  • to include maps, content, and reqs from final project.
  • Copy contents of lesson-map folder to new repo.

More tips

  • Put all files in top-level directory (the root) of the new repo.
  • EVERYTHING is case-sensitive.
  • DON'T USE \ backslashes. Use / forward slashes.

Basic HTML

  • Start with the basics in this tutorial.
  • When you see a tag, e.g.,
    look up the p tag here.
  • Experiment! Copy! Experiment!

Exploring GitHub



Addendum: Mapbox


  • How do you assemble and publish the map?
  • Static map?
    • A non-interactive map image.
    • Requires good cartographic skills.
  • Slippy map?
    • An interactive map that pans and zooms.
    • Requires coding skills and/or good platform.


Let's Start!


  • Usually the most difficult first step.
    • Either too much (need to clip)
    • or too little (need to create).
  • Use the application notebooks to create perfect data.

Vector Data!

  • Contours from modified contours.ipynb notebook
    • create Shapefile (multi-file format)
    • and zips them up, ready to upload as a tileset.

Raster Data!

  • Create square layout in ArcGIS Pro
  • Add map frame (projected to EPSG 3857)
  • to fill entire layout.
  • Export as TIFF with GeoTIFF tags.

Practice data

Let's jump into Mapbox


  • Demo in lesson doc.


  • After designing your style, i.e., map, in Studio
  • zoom to your area of interest
  • and re-lock the Settings > Default map position > Lock to center your map.
  • Click Share...

Open VS Code

  • Save the Style URL
  • and Access token
  • into the lesson-map/map.html file.