Rendering technology

The LuciadLightspeed product comes with two types of maps:

  • A map that uses the java.awt.Graphics for rendering. This is called the GXY view.

  • A map that uses OpenGL for rendering. This is called the Lightspeed view

This table provides an overview of the main characteristics of both view types:

GXY View Lightspeed view


CPU-based rendering using java.awt.Graphics

GPU-based rendering using OpenGL

Supports a 2D map

Supports a 3D map

Hardware requirements

No special requirements. CPU and RAM specifications determine performance.

Requires a dedicated GPU. See Hardware and software requirements.

Works on low-end hardware

Hardware-accelerated terrain analysis

Heat maps (density plots)

Fluent animations


See What are the differences between Lightspeed views and GXY views for a more in-depth explanation of the differences between both view types.

The Lucy application framework

What is it?

LuciadLightspeed comes with the Lucy application framework, or Lucy for short.

Lucy is a powerful high-level application framework for rapidly building applications that lets you explore, analyze, and edit all kinds of geospatial data. Lucy is based on LuciadLightspeed, and integrates the functionality of LuciadLightspeed in a configurable application.

The chief benefit of Lucy is that it has a lot of functionality common to many GIS applications built in. For example, Lucy allows you to:

  • Load extra data by drag-and-dropping it on the application, or going to File | Open from the menu

  • Select objects on the map, and display the object properties

  • Open a tabular view of your data, next to visualizing the data on the map

  • Open a terrain profile view that contains the data from your main map

  • Search through all your data, and fit the map on the results

  • Customize the styling of your data through the UI

  • Add annotations to the map

  • Print the map, or convert it to PDF

  • Save the state of your application in a workspace

  • Work with time-dependent data, and use the UI to control data visualization from a time perspective

Lucy is neither a finished application nor an end-user product. It is a framework that allows you to build your own application by customizing it, and by adding, and removing functionality.

Use Lucy or not ?

If you are building a new GIS desktop product from the ground up, we recommend using the Lucy application framework. It will save you much development time compared to starting from scratch, thanks to all the functionality that Lucy offers out-of-the-box.

If, on the other hand, you simply need to add a map to an already existing application, we would not recommend using Lucy.