How/where to find real world 3d terrains, with imagery?

I know how to extract a 3d terrain with the satellite imagery using Google Sketchup (just go to select area or whatever it’s called and export it as obj), and by doing that you get 1. the height map 2. image overlay and 3. real world dimensions, but is there a different way, maybe directly in Blender, in case Sketchup stops working? Free if possible.

I can probably find a height map and a satellite image overlay separately and then combine those 2 in Photoshop or something, but that is not really precise and even if I get it correct, it’s still a lot more unnecessary work, you have to make sure the height map is of correct dimensions and so on…

Moved from “Tutorials, Tips, and Tricks” to “Modeling”

If you have a viewer for the data, you can take a few screenshots and use the motion tracker to extract the geometry.
There are a few software packages that claim to be able to extract the geometry from the video card, but I’ve never had any success with them. If someone has a recommendation, I’d be glad to hear it. Would be great for grabbing game models as well.

I discovered another way, but it’s not free. If you have Unity game engine, you can buy the world compositor and download small or large terrains, then use another addon that turns terrains into polygons and then you export that to Blender…, so yeah, not practical, although at least you get a texture in the correct position and the terrain is of the correct height without needing to change the heightmap in any way.

Essentially you get the same result as with Sketchup, but the terrains can be way, way larger, you can change the resolution of the texture,etc.

Still, does anyone know a better and simpler way to do this? We are almost in 2018, this is a sort of technology that we should have mastered in the early 2000’s…