With the BlenderGIS Addon we can easily import (satellite) maps, displacement maps and geometry like buildings. It reminds me a bit of the Blender-OSM addon I am familiar with. One of the differences is that you will select your area on the world map directly in Blender instead of a browser. One thing the BlenderGIS addon doesn’t have is textures for the buildings, but if offers some other tools the Blender-OSM addon doesn’t have.

How the BlenderGIS Addon works

Here a quickstart with some basic steps to get you started.

Add Basemap

First we load a Basemap

BlenderGIS web geodata menu
BlenderGIS web geodata menu
  • In the Top menu of the 3D viewport, you see a menu called GIS. Click on GIS > Web geodata > Basemap
  • You will see a menu and choose: Google and Satellite, and click OK.
  • It bring the camera in Top Orthographic view, and will show a world map.
  • To zoom in: scroll wheel. To pan: Shift+middle mouse button.
  • Once you are finished with zooming and panning, press B and make a selection. (Start with a very small selection, because your terrain will be huge!)
  • Press E to conform the select and that will crop the map. (Check these tips about making the material better)

So far we have this:

BlenderGIS - Press E
BlenderGIS – Press E

Next we add elevation:

  • In the top menu in the 3D viewport, click GIS > Get Elevation (STRM), choose one of the options shown and press OK.
  • In our case not much displacement will show up because the area is quite flat. But you will see two modifiers that subdivide and displace the map.
BlenderGIS - displacement
BlenderGIS – displacement

Let add some geometry like buildings.

  • Select the map, click on GIS in the top-menu of the 3D viewport and select: Web Geodata > Get OSM
  • Select what geometry you want to import. Mind that you can hold shift to select multiple options.
  • Enable also Elevation from object. (so the placement of the buildings will consider the displacement).
  • Press OK, and wait a bit.

So far this is the result:

BlenderGIS - Example 2 - render
BlenderGIS – Example 2 – render

More features

More features of the BlenderGIS Addon
More features of the BlenderGIS Addon

For a the complete documentation I suggest to visit the documentation wiki of the BlenderGIS addon.

Where to download the BlenderGIS addon

You can download the BlenderGIS addon on Github. The addon will install like other addons in Blender.