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City Skylines Height Map Creation Tool for Creating Real World Location Maps

Posted on 7 Mar 2015 by Arazmus.
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When the game launches next week map making enthusiasts are going to be super keen to start creating maps based on real world data. You would think it would be impossible but thanks to the wonders of satellite technology and various map resources itย is possible. Not only that, there’s now a web based tool to make the job super easy. It’s not perfect yet but I’m sure it will improve with more development time.

In this post I have detailed the process you need to go through to import the maps into the game.

Over on terrain.party the planet can be explored and sections of the terrain can then be downloaded with the height map data. Once the area is captured with the grid on the site (follow the on-screen prompts), the maps can be downloaded and inserted into your City Skylines directory at the following locations depending on your OS.

Windows: ย C:\Users\<yourname>\AppData\Local\Colossal Order\Cities_Skylines\Addons\MapEditor\Heightmaps

Mac:ย ~/Library/Application Support/Colossal Order/Cities_Skylines/Addons/MapEditor/Heightmaps/

The next thing to do is launch the game and head straight into the map editor ย and click the import height map button at the bottom of the screen and select the “merged” version of the map. The map will now be populated with the terrain data from the images that were downloaded from the website. It may not look quite right and some extra tweaks may be required such as raising the sea level depending on what you have captured from the site.

It’s super simple and this really is a fantastic tool.

It’s early days for the site and no doubt it will be tweaked following the launch next week but I will say that during my tests earlier I had no problems at all. To show how well it works, I did a quick test on Edinburgh and this is the result. I have highlighted some of the major locations on the map so you get an idea.

The ability to easily import maps is a massive boost to the game and it will add so much replayability.

cities skylines Map Height tool

Edinburgh imported into the game’s map editor.

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  • Elly Davis

    That’s brilliant. As a resident of Edinburgh for 20 years I wish anyone luck trying to map the closes and back streets. It’s definitely something i will have a stab at though.

     
    • Robbie

      Amazing!! Me too, excited to try this out later

       
  • D M~*

    well that will serve my dream of razing my home city to the ground and rebuilding in in a more efficient layout.

     
  • utahst8

    I have no height map folder?

     
    • Arazmus

      Make sure you are checking the right directory, I have just double checked mine for you and it is there under the MapEditor directory.

       
      • utahst8

        I dont see one in that directory

         
        • Christian Lillegaard

          I also do not have that folder.. help plox?

           
          • Arazmus

            Did you try creating it and dropping the files you want to use in there?

             
          • Christian Lillegaard

            yes.. :/

             
          • MarcO.

            My folder was located here;

            C:Users[username]AppDataLocalColossal OrderCities_SkylinesAddonsMapEditorHeightmaps

             
          • Arazmus

            Thanks Marc0, hopefully that will help ๐Ÿ™‚

             
          • Crannyman

            Did not worked for me! there is currently no way to get Heightmaps working for me. ๐Ÿ™

             
          • Bj

            You know that you need the png files to be in the heightmap folder, zip does not work

             
      • altoburgo

        Guys, follow this to find the right folder:

        ‘One way to find the right folder for it is to open Map Editor, click
        import height map button and then click the little “open folder” button
        there, it will open the folder for you in Finder (Mac) or Explorer
        (Windows).’

         
    • Nathan Smiddy

      same here mate,

      iv look everywhere and nothing and the files i used was the same way as youtube as follows C:Program Files (x86)SteamSteamAppscommonCities_SkylinesFilesMapEditor but no file for the map thing :/

       
  • Christian Lillegaard

    As utahst8 mentioned, i also do not have that folder in my directory.. its strange! tried to create one but that didnt do the trick either..

     
  • altoburgo

    A little help for Mac users:

    Macintosh HD > Users > YOURUSERNAME > Library > Application Support > Colossal Order > Cities_Skylines > Addons > MapEditor > Heighmaps

    Don’t forget to unzip the file, you need the PNG files.

    One way to find the right folder for it is to open Map Editor, click import height map button and then click the little “open folder” button there, it will open the folder for you in Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows).

     
    • Arazmus

      Nice tip altoburgo.

       
      • altoburgo

        No worries Peter. I think there’s little support from the community for Mac users, gamers don’t usually do Macs, so I’ll try to help every time there’s a problem…

         
  • Crannyman

    I can’t import Heightmaps. I don’t have the folder named “Heightmaps” even if I create it’s still not working. Please fix this as soon as possible.

     
    • Jeroen Remmers

      It is located in USERS folder, not in the Cities game folder,

      USERS folder is on the same partition/disk as WINDOWS. Open your drive with WINDOWS on it.

      from there go to: Users[YOURusername]AppDataLocalColossal OrderCities_SkylinesAddonsMapEditorHeightmaps

      (APPDATA Folder might be Hidden, check Show Gidden maps/folders in the windows Folder/map Options)

       
      • Crannyman

        I know thx but there is no Heightmaps folder. I Have created it but still not working… It seems like a bug ๐Ÿ™ Maybe I’ll try a reinstall.

         
        • unsky

          My problem too. But solved – firstly, started ingame MapEditor. It create folder “Heightmaps” in “AppData”-path

           
  • Robbie

    Amazing, I came here to find out how to map the terrain and I am from Edinburgh also. I can’t wait to be able to fight with all the hills!!

     
  • Jeroen Remmers

    t is located in USERS folder, not in the Cities game folder,

    USERS folder is on the same partition/disk as WINDOWS. Open your drive with WINDOWS on it.

    from there go to: Users[YOURusername]AppDataLocalColossal OrderCities_SkylinesAddonsMapEditorHeightmaps

    (APPDATA Folder might be Hidden, check Show Hidden maps/folders in the windows Folder/map Options)

     
  • Nubsauce

    Well for those still having the issue on importing their height maps there is a key thing you need to do. Make sure your maps are in the AppData city skylines height map folder and not the installation directory. Then open the game and go create a map. Then hit ESC and go to options, click on the Gameplay tab, then on MapEditor tab. Scroll down until you see Import Heightmap Tool and bind a key. Then press that key and boom. There ya go. Have fun!

     
  • Clayton

    go here to find your C:UsersUsernameAppDataLocalColossal OrderCities_SkylinesAddons

     
  • Ross Carruthers

    What i really need is to take google maps and have it translate into fully fledged city maps … to be used for modelling and visualization for academic use. doing an awesome futurelearn mooc about future cities and water use… building sustainable resilliant cities of the future. I want to be able to quickly prototype real life areas and then model various scenarios. Eg flooding / drought / fracking / hydroelectric etc

     
  • Lauri

    I placed those heightmap folders in to both places and nothing shows up in the game.

     
  • Ricardo Kutz

    Terrainparty does not work in google chrome. No 5×5 squares, no drag-able boxes. This is all I see. http://gyazo.com/ed19c6108cf18a018ef9c33fc2e80947

     
  • themisfitjoe

    Do you know if there is a way to Rotate the map/data capture on the terrain.party?

     
  • SteveJunkyNet

    I just tried this, but it did not do a good job recognizing rivers. What is the best setting for this?

     
  • mouttonnoir

    Can’t find any CO folder via App Support folder on my mac

     
  • justo

    for WINDOWS 8 USER some people dont have hidden items or folder open .i do this open a folder on the top u see view mark open hidden items or folder and u r able to see the folder

    ps sorry for my bad inglish

     
  • yolo

    if you try to import a map of bethel alaska it gives you nothing

     
  • Aaron Cottam

    Guys, the folder won’t even be created until you go into the map editor in-game, so you should do that first, then look in the directory in the post. ๐Ÿ™‚