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Show HN: Procedural-gl – open-source 3D mapping library built with Three.js (github.com/felixpalmer)
29 points by pheelicks 56 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 5 comments

Hello HN!

For the last 7 years I've been working on a WebGL powered mapping library, that I've been providing on a commercial basis via www.procedural.eu. It's been used by millions of users across different products

I recently decided to change the approach and instead provide a new library on an open-source basis, along with an supporting elevation API (www.nasadem.xyz).

Procedural GL JS is a complete reworking of the original library, with the following features:

    * Stream in standard raster imagery tiles. Supports map tiles from a variety of providers
    * Batteries included elevation data. Global 3D data coverage courtesy of nasadem.XYZ
    * Powerful overlay capabilities. Draw crisp markers and lines
    * Well-thought-out API, complex applications can be built without needing to deal with 3D concepts
    * Great UX and intuitive controls, mouse-based on desktop & touch-based on mobile
    * Tiny filesize means library is parsed fast. Package size is less than THREE.js thanks to code stripping
    * Novel GPU powered level-of-detail system. Off-loading to the GPU frees up the main JavaScript UI thread
I'm planning a series of blog posts about how it works in the future, but for today it's just the launch. Happy to answer any questions!


A couple questions:

1. I can't help but notice the weak copyleft Mozilla Public License v2 license. Why not Apache v2 (permissive copyright) or why not GPL v3 (strong copyleft)?

2. Usually, companies with successful revenue streams open-source their product's complements [0] because open sourcing the core product itself has proven pretty detrimental otherwise [1]. Why open source (versus source available / open core) what I presume is your core product, as if to defy reality?

3. Where do you later plan to post about the project? I'd like to subscribe to it.

[0] https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2002/06/12/strategy-letter-v/

[1] https://www.heavybit.com/library/video/commercial-open-sourc...

Good questions.

1. Precisely because it felt like a good middle ground between the two. MIT/Apache feels like completely giving away something which doesn't seem fair, while GPL would put some people off. MPLv2 is GPL compatible so that won't stop anyone.

2. Yes, well, will see how it turns out. One strong counterexample in this space would be Mapbox, their client code is open-source and this doesn't seem to do them any harm

3. https://www.pheelicks.com/

Really really cool.

Now there is two things I need to be able to use it in my project: 1) support direct hook into three JS, to allow to mix other three js stuff within the scene. 2) GLTF or even 3D tiles support, like cesium or iTowns. Is it things that are on the roadmap?

Good job, the UX is superb.

Really nice work. It was easy to integrated this library into my own project. Looking forward to see some WebXR support in the future.

Example link: https://conze.pt/explore/Pyrenees?l=en&t=link&s=true&i=12431...

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