About LuciadRIA

LuciadRIA is an object-oriented JavaScript API designed to build geospatial situational awareness applications that run in browsers. The API provides application developers with a set of components that they can use and customize to their own needs. The components take advantage of HTML5 technology to offer a rich web application experience, both in terms of functionality and performance. As LuciadRIA is based on JavaScript, it does not require any browser plugins to run.

LuciadRIA’s architecture is based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern, which results in a higher flexibility and reusability of code.

LuciadRIA benefits

LuciadRIA makes use of WebGL technology to offer hardware-accelerated visualization in 2D and 3D. WebGL is a graphics API for the browser that allows drawing primitives such as points and lines using graphics hardware. It is supported on all major platforms and browsers without the need for a plugin. The use of WebGL adds visualization and analysis opportunities to LuciadRIA applications, such as the client-side visualization of dynamic density plots.

Full 3D support

You can visualize your data on a globe in 3D. By opting for a WebGLMap, you enable hardware acceleration and 3D capabilities in the LuciadRIA Map.

LuciadRIA 's support for 3D includes:

  • Terrain visualization: because elevation data is supported, you can reliably visualize terrain. LuciadRIA lighting effects allow for the addition of light sources and relief shading to create realistic map scenes. To obtain detailed terrain visualization, you can connect to external sources, such as LuciadFusion terrain coverages

  • Draping: vector and imagery data are automatically draped on the terrain.

  • 3D objects You can visualize the third dimension in your data: points, lines, extruded shapes, and more with a height dimension are visualized in 3D. There is no API distinction between 2D and 3D vector styling: you use the same API for 2D and 3D vector visualization.

  • 3D labels: You can add labels to provide extra information with your data. All labels are automatically de-conflicted, regardless of the view type.

  • Navigation: LuciadRIA allows you to navigate the map in 3D. You can place and animate your camera in 3D, to preview a flight plan for example, or to re-play a recorded flight from the point of view of the pilot.

WebGL exploitation for advanced styling and visual analytics

WebGL technology drives LuciadRIA capabilities beyond just 2D/3D data visualization. In addition, the LuciadRIA hardware acceleration provides support for dynamic visualization and analytics, heat maps, and object clustering.

For instance, LuciadRIA has the capability to visualize and replay thousands of recorded or simulated trajectories in 2D and 3D. Hardware-accelerated styling and filtering allow you to build truly interactive 4D analysis tools directly in the browser. You can dynamically style and filter based on feature properties, and even create advanced density plots.

The hardware-accelerated 2D view allows client-side warping or re-projection of your imagery layers and vector layers, in addition to vector layers.

Model-view separation

Just like the other Luciad products, LuciadRIA clearly separates the data model from its visualization on the map. LuciadRIA 's clean model-view separation offers many advantages:

  • It results in clean interfaces

  • It allows for data re-use. For example, a polygon in LuciadRIA can be used in a georeferenced 2D and 3D views, and in views without a georeference, such as the vertical view or a table view.

  • It allows for flexible visualization: you can visualize a shape using other primitives, for example, you can use a country shape to visualize a country, but you can also show an animated pie chart showing population statistics for that country.

Single, reliable API

LuciadRIA offers a single API for software 2D, hardware-accelerated 2D, and hardware-accelerated 3D.

To start using the API you are used to on a map with hardware-accelerated 3D capabilities, you simply need to create a WebGLMap.

The LuciadRIA API is designed with stability and backward-compatibility in mind. Core classes are preserved throughout product versions, and the introduction of major new features do not present any migration issues.


LuciadRIA hides the complexity of the WebGL graphics API and the tasks required to obtain optimal performance. without losing visualization fidelity. For example, the LuciadRIA WebGL visualization engine will automatically sort and batch objects together to ensure the most efficient use of the graphics processing unit, and dependably visualize those objects.

The LuciadRIA core rendering engine is coded in C++. The C++ code is not visible in the API but offers many advantages:

  • C++ brings significant performance improvements compared to low-level JavaScript code.

  • LuciadRIA can make use of the large collection of libraries available in C and C++ to quickly add functionality

  • LuciadRIA does not rely on slower JavaScript components such as its garbage collector.

Choose your data perspective

LuciadRIA can visualize data in a map view, a so-called georeferenced view, or present it in a view other than a map, a non-georeferenced view. Examples are the Cartesian views that plot data against two dimensions or the tabular view. The Cartesian timeline view displays the progression of data over time. A Cartesian vertical view allows you to inspect flight profiles plotted against a flight level axis and an crossed airspaces axis. A tabular view allows you to inspect your data and all its properties in a table.

Standards support

LuciadRIA provides support for several Open Geospatial Consortium standards. As a result, you can connect to Web Map Services (WMS), Web Feature Services (WFS), and 3D Tiles Services to get your data. Common browser formats for geospatial vector data, such as OGC KML and GML, can be visualized as well.

You can proceed to style your data with the OGC Symbology Encoding (SE) standard, also referred to as SLD.