Hi. Nice maps you've got here!
I am running a D20 campaign and my players are strongly interested in building up their own domains, and my little Moleskine maps are not detailed or electronic enough to build towns on.
One player used AutoRealm to build a necromancer's stronghold. The other is more ambitious and has begun building a town in Google SketchUp. I am proud of them both and have asked them to register on this site.
The aforementioned town is in a hilly area near a river, and we need realistic terrain upon which to put it. It needs to be miles in scale and meters in precision, and should map the riverbed. I am hoping to find the right kind of software for this by looking around this (dauntingly large) site.
Hi Gil! Can't wait to see the maps! Welcome to the CG!
Well if you are after matching the terrain to a specific map then you will probably have to start doing some contours and get the terrain detailed in. If you are after any kind of terrain where there is a river then that would be easier.
Firstly there is our CWBP community world building project and all the terrain in that was created from some starting random height and mapped out. I do Tile 7 - Thrubmorton which has some extra processing applied to make it look realistic so there ought to be something you can snag and repurpose.
Another option is to find an area of the USA which has hills and a river and grab some real world data. The USGS site has a 'seamless' DEM server where you can get it to download some height map data. There are a few programs about which can convert this data into something which you can render. I think tho that Wilbur by one of our users here Waldronate can convert standard USGS data into several useful formats. I don't know what one you need tho.
USGS data comes in several flavors but the USA is covered in the highest res since data obtained through gov programs like NASA is put up as public domain.
If you dont need the height data and are looking for a satellite image of some good terrain which has rivers and hills on it then I would point you here...
and have a look at these ultra high res aerial photos of NZ. Find a map of NZ and look for the right kind of terrain and then click into one of the colored squares to go to the photos. You can of course get the height data for these regions from the USGS site too but the res of NZ is much less than US.
Welcome to The Guild, firstly, and I can't wait to see that SketchUp town cuz I have one in hibernation.