So I spent the better part of the day trying to figure out how to turn NASA’s satellite based laser range-finding data into a 3d model. There were a few frustrating moments, but I can now take the elevation data from anywhere in the country and turn it into a model in just a couple of minutes. About the same time as using fractal noise, and gives far better looking results to my eye. Now I just need to spend the time to develop a few good procedural terrain shaders and I’ll be able to churn out landscapes for my airship to fly over in a matter of an hour or two. Also, I can use the terrain data to make ZBrush alphas, to expedite the process of hand-sculpting terrain when I do need more precise control.