Real world height maps? Is it possible?

For a long time now I’ve really wanted to model my home town and make a small game out of it. I’ve been successful in the past when it comes to approximations of buildings, etc, but the one thing i can’t crack is how to implement the proper landscape elevation. I’ve searched far and wide and am hoping someone has an answer, but is there any genuine way to obtain a height map of my town and use it with the landscape editor in ue4?

There’s some different methods where you can get height maps from satellite sources, I believe Sketchup actually has Google Maps integration that gets the height and the texture. I use a plugin for 3ds Max that connects to Google Maps and can get some pretty high quality maps.

NASA also has a lot of height and satellite information available to download.

Go to the USGS website; it’s pretty archaic, but if you can get past that, they have a treasure trove of real life data from almost every location in the continental United States. Not sure if that helps you.

Also, do a Google search for DEM (Digital Elevation Model) and you will prob find what you need…


we’ve used the SRTM 30 data from That’s as far as I know the best Source you could find for free.

But for a Town you might need a better resolution than 30m, maybe areal photography or something like that…

There are 1m DEM data that are really accurate and detailed and ideal for any purpose but they are expensive.
The free data available on the net are 30m and 90m and you’d be better skip them if you want something identical to real life version of it.

This is pretty good too - is a little more visual, but does still need something between this and Unreal to interpret the DEM data.

I always use Drag the blue box to the place you want. Give it the size you want. export the .zip and use the merged file in the zip as your heightmap. It works amazing!