James Fee

glTF is the JPEG of Digital Twins


Why glTF is the JPEG for the metaverse and digital twins

JPEG took advantage of various compression tricks to dramatically shrink images compared to other formats like GIF. The latest version of glTF similarly takes advantage of techniques for compressing both geometry of 3D objects and their textures.

I actually like this analogy. Consider what I said 2 years ago:

It is widely supported these days but it really isn’t a great format for BIM models or other digital twin layers because it is more of a visual format than a data storage model. Think of it similar to a JPEG, great for final products, but you don’t want to work with it for your production data.

IFC is a much better format for Digital Twins but glTF does a great job with interoperability and storage. Much like you might want to store GIS data in a Geodatabase and share a map with JPEG, you should store your data in IFC and share as glTF.