Kongsberg Launches 3D WebGL Map Engine for Cloud Apps (Video)

Kongsberg Geospatial, is launching a new browser-based 3D map engine to deliver high-performance geospatial applications in the cloud.

The new engine, called TerraLens WebCore™ has been written from the ground up to use next-gen technologies to provide highly efficient 3D rendering in a HTML5 browser environment and provide a level of performance approaching that of native applications compiled for a specific platform.

This breakthrough will allow developers to deliver highly performant cloud-based applications using the TerraLens WebCore engine.

(See a brief overview highlighting some of the features of TerraLens Web, from the perspective of geo-intelligence and intelligence analysts. TerraLens Web isn’t an intelligence tool on its own, but it has been specially developed and adapted to effectively visualize geo-located intelligence data from a broad strata of sources. Courtesy of Kongsberg Geospatial and Vimeo)

The resulting applications can be deployed quickly, and accessed on virtually and platform or operating system via a web browser.

Gilles Bessens, Kongsberg Geospatial CTO
Gilles Bessens, Kongsberg Geospatial CTO

“Modern HTML5 applications are shader-based, which means that on computers with a GPU they can provide near-native performance,” says Kongsberg Geospatial CTO Gilles Bessens.

“This makes it possible to roll out extremely powerful cloud-based applications on thin clients.”

Mr. Bessens is enthusiastic about what the new product can do, but points out that the technology won’t eliminate the need for more traditional native applications.

“This technology is a great fit for applications where a Web deployment is the solution of choice, but for some purposes, including the low-power architectures found in some tablets and embedded systems, you’ll have the option to continue to develop traditional native applications using our TerraLens Core platform.”

A 3D view of the globe with moving tracks is shown running in a browser using the TerraLens WebCore 3D map engine. The new engine allows application developers to deliver high performance cloud-based applications in a web browser.

The TerraLens WebCore map engine has been engineered to provide the best possible performance in a browser-based 3D application, but it also shares a common focus with Kongsberg Geospatial’s native TerraLens platform on the real-time display of moving tracks.

This focus on real-time geospatial data is the primary differentiator from other browser-based 3D map engines, and is intended to support the development of distributed command and control and ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) applications.

Ranald McGillis, president of Kongsberg Geospatial

The new product is part of Kongsberg Geospatial’s strategy for long-term technical innovation, with the goal of introducing these innovations to core products in a way that is not disruptive to legacy projects that share the platform.

“Kongsberg Geospatial is unique among software companies in our commitment to continuous life-cycle support for products with a very long lifespan”, explained Ranald McGillis, president of Kongsberg Geospatial.

“Our technology is part of systems like Lockheed Martin’s US Navy Aegis program – which has been in service for over 15 years.

Our goal is to continue to foster innovation in areas like cloud-based application deployment, while continuing to provide a stable platform for long-term projects.”

TerraLens WebCore will be publicly available in the fall of 2017.


Based in Ottawa, Canada, Kongsberg Geospatial creates precision real-time software for mapping, geospatial visualization, and situational awareness.

The Company’s products are primarily deployed in solutions for air-traffic control, Command and Control, and air defense.