Google earth heightmap

Can anyone tell me how to grab a location from google earth for my heightmap?

This is probably a better place to get maps of Earth:

Google Earth is very limited in that way, there’s some websites out there where you can get elevation data if you need just a small area and not the whole world.

Have a look at my post HERE for details on getting a real-world heightmap off of NASA’s LP-DAAC satellite, it’s free as long as you add a line to your credits saying you got the data from them. :slight_smile:

That’s not good for small areas, Google Earth has more detail and let’s you zoom closer.

Yeah this is true. Back when I first tried this it worked really well, but lately the TIFF files I get back have been much lower quality, from 115mb file down to around 3mb for the same area. Not sure why it changed, but if he needs a really small area (like a single city or smaller) this won’t work anymore unfortunately.

How do you manage the correct heights? I dont really get it with the Z-Scale (256; -655.36m to +655.34m), if i get a area like the alps. Do you have any hint on that “problem”?

That is right I need a small town in Montana. I mainly need the mountains surrounding the town to create the back drop. I don’t need any buildings because I have already created them and the topo for the exact site is very flat. I would use other mountains but the project need the locations context.

Here’s a tutorial from the other forum:


I would take a look at Gnomon Training done by Alex, and for Lidar Infomation you should check this site out

Its only really any good for the US but theirs lots of terrain in that country that I’m sure you can find something that will work for you.

Hey guys, your links posted above are from 2008 and they don’t work with the current version of Google earth, and one of the programs he mentions doesn’t exist anymore. Is there any other places you know to get height maps? i don’t need the whole world just small sections. Every search on Google I find leads me back to that 2008 post.

Im looking for the same thing. I have the srtm, dem data and can make a beautiful map from it but its not high enough detail to zoom in to make a good playable scale map with.

I use the google earth data, you can go in good detail and stitch together as many tiles as you like for larger areas. You also can combine them with youre own landscape tiles. If you also import the texture then you can re-paint the natural environments, (e.g. rock, grass…) with you’re own landscape maperials. See here an example for a greek island region in the background, I left the original google texture there and did not overpaint it yet:cb103d871c2aa6db49ead27270ae10a0fe65715a.jpeg

It’s been awhile since I pulled data from google earth (via Sketchup if I remember my method correctly) and then had to go through a series of translations to get it to work in software like Unity and Unreal.

Maybe this technique has gotten better, but I found that the level of detail wasn’t there, or perhaps if it was the data was simply too dense for my video game work.

Instead I started generating height maps through different software. This of course is only useful if you are trying to go for that more realistic sculpt of a landscape and if the map doesn’t have to be a specific place.

L3DT is the software I used. I believe I had to export as Targa files, then go through Photoshop and convert my files to tiff. Much of the problem with software like this is that it is hard to control the results. I’ll think that the first generated landscape looks quite nice, and if i can just make a little lagoon and beach it’ll be perfect,then spend the next four hours trying to generate it and see if I get close which isn’t possible, as it’s randomly generated, so that means some sculpting is required afterwards.

Finally, upon importing, the Z axis is always extremely high, and needs to be scaled back quite a bit to get it into the right proportion.

There is other landscape software out there that is quite good, and quite pricey.