Although there have been some reputational setbacks to the general idea of “the metaverse,” most still agree that the future will be, in some form, revolving around 3D representations of the real world. What exactly that looks like is still a mystery, but we’re already starting to see industrial settings skew towards this idea. The key to both that and the broader social use cases that can come in 3D visualizations require extremely accurate location data, putting the geospatial industry at the center of many of these developments. It’s also true that, if this idea is going to mature into what many think it can be, companies are going to need to work together and develop standards and a willingness to develop open source creations, as no one organization or company will be able to build something so vast by themselves.
Cesium is one of the companies most embodying this idea, with their CEO Patrick Cozzi even co-hosting a successful podcast called “Building the Open Metaverse.” Last week, the company made an announcement putting their money where their mouth is. Cesium announced that they are opening up a pool of $1 million in funding with their new Cesium Ecosystem Grants program. These grants, which will range from $5,000 to $50,000 – individuals will be eligible for grants up to $15,000 – will “provide non-dilutive financial support for early stage startups, individuals, educators, and students,” per the company’s official release with the news. Themes for submissions can include, but are not limited to:
The company says it is looking to “promote innovation, interoperability, and collaboration in the 3D geospatial ecosystem,” with Cesium Ecosystem Grants, and are focused on ensuring smaller and younger organizations and individuals can break into this space. There is a recognition that not all great ideas are going to come from established sources, and in order to get some of these other innovations off the ground outside support is needed. Crucially, Cesium is putting as few limits as possible on applicants in order to attract the widest pool of candidates they can, noting on their website that grants are open to anyone “regardless of demographic, institution, or industry,” and that projects in any stage, “from ideation to in-process” are eligible for consideration. Applicants will be selected based on the following criteria:
For those interested in learning more about this program, Cesium is holding a live webinar on April 18.
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