This article will show you how to create a 3D online globe using MapTiler Engine.
The easiest way to create an online 3D globe from an image is to prepare the texture of the whole world. The image needs to have a 2:1 aspect ratio to account for 360 degrees of longitude and 180 degrees of latitude in total. In this tutorial, we'll use the "Cassini Terrestrial and Celestial Globes 1790 - 1792" dataset from David Ramsey's website.
Rendering the map with MapTiler Engine
First, open MapTiler Engine and simply drag and drop the image into the application window.
In most cases, the file should contain the geolocation metadata that MapTiler Engine will automatically parse. If that's the case, you can proceed by clicking the "Export" button. However, if your source data do not contain the geolocation information, you'll see the "No coordinates" or "No geolocation" values in the menu located in the right-hand side of the window. If that happens, choose the coordinate system from the "Coordinates" menu. Most probably, you'll want to use the WGS84 coordinate system, which can be chosen directly from the drop-down menu.
Then, set the correct geolocation for your image. To cover the whole world, choose the "Bounding box" option from the "Geolocation" menu and input the values: -180 -90 180 90.
Next, proceed click the "Export" button and choose the output format for your map. If you're not sure which one to choose, please refer to this documentation article.
Clicking the "Continue" button will take you to the page, where you can change the settings like the zoom levels or the tile format. The default values suggested by MapTiler Engine should give satisfying results, but you can change them if you need to.
Click the "Render" button to start the rendering process. When it finishes, you'll see the preview of the generated map.
Publishing the map online
The next step of the process is to put the created map online. You can easily upload the tiles to MapTiler Cloud or any S3-compatible storage service directly from the MapTiler Engine application. In this tutorial, we'll use the MapTiler Cloud service as it's probably the most straightforward way.
When you close the map preview, just choose the "Upload to cloud" option.
And then click on the "Start Upload" button.
When the upload finishes, you'll see the confirmation pop-up. Clicking on the "Open in browser" button will take you to your MapTiler Cloud account in the web browser. When you are logged to MapTiler Cloud account your API key will automatically appear in our code examples.
Go to https://docs.maptiler.com/cesium/ and follow the instructions.
And that's it! Now you have a source code for globe with you own texture.