How to generate a 3D landform?

Part 1 – If you don’t have the topography information: The best resource you can get is from a surveyor. But if you don’t, you can try the following ways. But it requires some other softwares.  

Step 1:

Download Globe GIS Data:

If it locates in China, you can download from here:


Step 2:

Download files with img format, then drop into Global Mapper. It will generate contour line with different formats. Export Vector format: DWG.

*Rhino can generate a mesh landform, if it is a DXF Mesh file.


For low accuracy requirement, we can use the following Rhino Plugins:




Part 2 – If you have the topography information:
Mainly Required Software: Rhino / Grasshopper Need Essential Knowledge of Rhino and Grasshopper to Understand the following information.
Case 1 – Contours with Z-value ( but especially broken lines): Solution:Divide the contour line by equal distance and get the corresponding elevation point to solve the line breakage problem. Grasshopper Script as shown below:
Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 9.35.19 PM.png
1.Set Curves 2. Measure the length L of each contour line, 3. Divide the lines by equal distance(a) 4. Get the number of segments per curve: x = L / a 5. Gets the elevation point. 6. Point to Mesh
Case 2  – Elevation points with z-values: Try to get the elevation points first: Use command “SelBlockInstance” to explode the block. Then you will be able to select all elevation points.
Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 9.43.52 PM.png
1. Set Points 2. Set circle 3. Remove the FALSE value with Saw (in the last part of the sets menu) 4. Gets the center of all circles 5. Set Dots 6. Convert Point to Mesh
Analysis of Topography
0 (1).gif
Buy Grasshopper Scripts mentioned in this article, including 2 other topography analysis scripts(show above).

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