We have developed a module that creates relief for simulators automatically using SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuttle_Radar_Topography_Mission) or any other relief source data. So, we can read and use this format for simulations, approximate this data and take it into account when modelling or visualizing a simulated world.
With such a solution we can model any real world terrain relief and use it in simulation. We also develop 3D editors for changing the relief graphically.
For example, you can see relief tied to vector map. When you move mouse over the map, current geographical coordinates and elevation under the mouse is displayed. As elevation of water object is the same you can see elevation doesn’t change when you move mouse over the map. Note, all geographic coordinates are changed for demo purpose and don’t correspond to real world coordinates
Please, read section Relief modelling framework for more details.