This is an elevation data browser, which "auto-exposes" the display so that the highest and lowest visible elevations are white and black. The result is a grayscale heightmap, suitable for use as a displacement map in 3D applications.
Here's a blog post about this tool, with more explanations and examples!
- NEW! Enter your API key in the field provided to load terrain imagery past zoom level 3. Get your free API key here!
- Uncheck "auto-expose" to set min and max height levels manually.
- Click "export" to open the current view as an image in a new tab - then "Save As" to save the image to disk. (You may need to right-click the image to do this.)
- Import the resulting image as a displacement map in a 3D application to generate a 3D model of the terrain. (Here's a tutorial for doing this in Blender.)
- The "z:x scale factor" describes how "high" the current view is, on the z-axis, in terms of how wide the current view is on the x-axis. Multiplying this scale factor by the width of a 3D mesh in units x will tell you how high in units z your mesh should be after displacement in order to be true-scale.
- Press the 'h' key to toggle interface visibility.
Terrain data is coming from Mapzen's global terrain tiles.
Check out the code or fork this project on Github!