Customises the look and feel of the environment (textures, lighting etc.) for WRLD SDK
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

WRLD Themes


The WRLD SDK can be used to render beautiful maps in a variety of themes. Using different themes, you can display the map with different seasons, times of day, weather effects, and more. A theme determines the style of the map by specifying the texture resources, lighting parameters, and overlay effects used for rendering.

Each WRLD SDK includes a default theme, specified by a theme manifest. You can change that default to an alternate theme manifest created by WRLD, or you can build your own themes.

Using Preset Themes

At startup, every WRLD SDK downloads a theme manifest, which is a file specifying the themes to be used. The URL for the theme manifest can be set as a configuration option in each SDK:

Although you can use a standard theme manifest in Unity, the Unity enviroment enables much more customization of the visual effects which can be applied to the basic map. See here for details.

In the WRLD Example App, the theme manifest URL is set in the config files for Android and iOS.

Available WRLD Themes

The current set of theme manifests is available here. This is a JSON file which maps a manifest identifier to a partial URL containing a version number, for example:

    "default": "mobile-themes-new/v1141/default/", 
    "legacy": "mobile-themes-new/v1141/legacy/", 
    "ambientwhite": "mobile-themes-new/v1141/ambientwhite/", 
    "ambientdark": "mobile-themes-new/v1141/ambientdark/", 
    "ambientcolor": "mobile-themes-new/v1141/ambientcolor/", 
    "scifi": "mobile-themes-new/v1141/scifi/", 
    "scifiv": "mobile-themes-new/v1141/scifiv/", 
    "cardboard": "mobile-themes-new/v1141/cardboard/"

To construct the full URL for the configuration option, use the appropriate URL components from the following table:

SDK Protocol + host filename example
Android, iOS, Unity manifest.bin.gz
JavaScript (wrld.js) web.manifest.bin

The current set of themes provide a variety of styles for the map.

Name Sample
default default
legacy legacy
ambientwhite ambientwhite
ambientdark ambientdark
ambientcolor ambientdark
scifi scifi
scifiv scifiv
cardboard cardboard

About Themes

This repository contains the resources and scripts required to generate your own custom theme manifests. The current WRLD themes are build from the assets stored here, so if you want to understand them in more depth, or if you want to build your own themes, read on.

Theme Manifests

A theme manifest is a JSON file describing all the themes available to an app running the WRLD SDK. It contains information about all the textures, lighting parameters, material parameters, and vehicle models used to style the map. Each theme in the theme manifest provides the receiving app with a different configuration of these parameters and thus a different visual style.


A theme consists of a number of states, as well as a position on the globe. The default WRLD theme manifest includes themes for San Francisco, London, New York, and several other locations. By default, the map will display the geographically nearest theme.

For each location, there is one theme per season. For example, the default theme defines SummerLondon (defined here), WinterLondon(defined here), and so on. These variants can be selected by the app.


A theme state contains a set of textures to use for terrain and buildings, lighting parameters, and optionally an overlay effect. The states used by the default eeGeo theme manifest are combinations of four times of day, and five types of weather.

Time                        Weather
Day                         Overcast
Night                       Snowy
Dawn                        Rainy
Dusk                        Foggy

For example, DayDefault (defined here), NightSnowy (defined here), and DawnRainy(defined here) are examples of states.

WRLD Environment Themes

Building Custom Themes

You can build custom themes by defining your own textures, lighting parameters, placename styles, and more. The best way to get started is to explore and modify the existing theme definitions in this repository.

One special case to note is the water reflection cube map. To override this, specify the base filename in the YAML and then define six cube map PNGs using the naming convention ThemeName/water_reflection_posX.png, ThemeName/water_reflection_negX.png, etc. See here for an example.

Building Theme Manifests

If you wish to generate entirely new themes, you can do so by using make in the root of this repo. This will generate a theme manifest from the YAML files under manifest in the repo, as well as all the required models and textures in the correct format for each platform. Finally, these resources are uploaded to an Amazon S3 location where you can serve them to your app.


  • Windows*
  • Bash / MinGW (for Windows, git's bundled version works fine)
  • Python version 2.7 installed and in your path
  • Clang installed and in your path

* (Some of the 3rd-party texture tools used have bugs on OS X. You can replace the Windows executables and run it anyway, but expect to see quality issues. Specifically poor quality mipmaps.)


  1. First, make the desired changes to the textures, or YAML files.
  2. Run the script.
  3. Modify the REMOTE_BASE_DIR variable in the makefile to point to an S3 bucket you wish the resources to be uploaded to.
  4. Run the following command: mingw32-make.exe VERSION=<version> AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<aws_access_key> AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<aws_secret> EEGEO_ASSETS_HOST_NAME=<asset_host_name> THEME_ASSETS_HOST_NAME=<asset_host_name>
    • VERSION is a unique version string for the resulting theme.
    • AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY should be keys for an AWS user with permissions to write to the S3 bucket specified in step 3.
    • EEGEO_ASSETS_HOST_NAME is the host name that wrld provided assets will be served from. It will be included in the theme manifest to tell the app where to request resources from. You will need to request this from WRLD.
    • THEME_ASSETS_HOST_NAME is the host name you plan to serve the theme resources from. It will be included in the theme manifest to tell the app where to request resources from.

Note that this process can take a long time to complete if you include a large number of themes and textures.

Creating Embedded Manifests

In order to display the map before these themes have been fully downloaded, apps must contain an embedded theme manifest. The Creating Embedded Manifests section explains how to generate and embed this manifest.

The create_embedded_manifest script can be used to generate an embedded theme manifest and its textures from a regular theme manifest. These resources are required by the WRLD SDK at startup. All this script requires to run is Python version 2.7.

If you are using the WRLD Example App as a basis for your own project, you can skip this step entirely, as it already contains an embedded theme manifest. If not, then it provides an example of where to place the embedded resources.

Generating the manifest

The following example will generate an embedded manifest with one theme (SummerSanFrancisco) and one state (DayDefault), and output the result to ./some_folder/temp/embedded_theme:

python -i -o ./some_folder/temp/embedded_theme -t SummerSanFrancisco -s DayDefault

It is possible to include multiple themes and states if you want your app to be able to display more than one possible theme at startup, before streaming any additional resources:

python -i -o ./some_folder/temp/embedded_theme -t SummerSanFrancisco WinterSanFrancisco -s DayDefault NightDefault

This could be useful, for example, if you want your app to open with the season or time of day dependent on the real life date and time. For most applications however, it is best to include as few themes and states as possible to minimize app size and startup time.

Adding to a project

After running the above script, the output folder should contain a file called embedded_manifest.txt, and also a folder full of textures for each platform. Note that although textures are generated for Android, iOS, OSX, and Windows, you can ignore any platforms that you are not using.

You should now do the following:

  1. The embedded_manifest.txt file must be copied into your app's resources. You can see an example of this in the WRLD Example App for Android, iOS, and Windows applications. These examples consume an optimized binary version of the theme produced by our internal build process, but text manifests are also supported.

  2. As in the WRLD Example App, the contents of the iOS folder should then be placed under the Resources/Textures/EmbeddedTheme folder in your iOS project.

    The contents of the Android folder should be placed under assets/Textures/EmbeddedTheme.

    The contents of the Windows folder should be placed under Resources/Textures/EmbeddedTheme.

    (You can place these resources under a different path, but you will have to ensure you specify that path in your app's configuration.)

  3. Finally, edit the config of your app to use the correct paths for the new resources, and select an appropriate starting theme and state. Here are examples for Android and iOS. The starting theme and state are set here.

After completing these steps, you should see your app open and display the embedded theme that you generated.


If you have any questions, bug reports, or feature requests, feel free to submit to the issue tracker for this repository.


All textures and assets are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. See the file for details.