View Full Version : USGS topographical maps? Any tuts?

07 July 2003, 09:29 PM
I'm finding a lot of software packages that help generate topo maps but I'd like to build my own to use in LW.

Does anyone have know of any resources or tutorials that deal with this subject? We are trying to build a map similar to the ones found in Time Magazine

any help would be appreciated


07 July 2003, 09:42 PM
Try this site ( .

It's over in NewTek's tutorial section.

07 July 2003, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by SimianLogic
Try this site ( .

It's over in NewTek's tutorial section.
Yes, this is a good and *very* basic place to begin learning how to create your own terrain models. However, it is not at all a complete source of information, when one wants to create complex terrain models.

Your best bet is as follows:

1. Create a highly sub-D'd plane to use as a deformed object in Layout.

2. Paint or use another heightmap generator to export an imagemap (greyscale) to use for the deformation.

3. Apply the heightmap as a Displacement Map to the ground plane, which should have it's render subpatch level set to about 30 - 50.

4. Take your heightmap into Eleblend, which is a component of Kerlin Softwork's Untitled Image Utilities and following the tutorial in the application, render a color channel texture map based on the elevation map you're using for the Displacement texture channel.

5. Apply Eleblend's output render as your color channel map for the plane, and then get down and dirty adding any extra items you may require for the scene.

As an example, Ive attached a sample pic... a larger version is available at the following link:


07 July 2003, 11:49 PM
thanks very much guys. good tips and enough to lead me to more info is what we are going for basically:

similar to this

07 July 2003, 12:46 AM
I think the USGS is charging for data sets now...
usgs (

search there but I don't think you can find elevation maps of the whole planet in the site.

also check here (

There are companies that sell cd's full of elevation maps of the planet for this kind of work, if I find it I'll post the link...

07 July 2003, 02:42 PM
Check out Marvin Landis' Site:
and have a look at DEMScape or TextureScape.


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