Digital Elevation Maps (DEM) are digital files that contain elevation data for a given longitude and latitude. These can be used in many powerful ways to make maps and 3D graphics. For the United States these files are available for free download from GIS Data Depot, and there are numerous freeware on the internet that can be used to read the files. In some cases I combine overlays in Adobe Photoshop to make a 2D map, and in other cases I would use the information in 3D Studio Max to make accurate topography for 3D animations - before the age of Google Earth this was really cool!
Maps & GIS >