I'm writing an Android navigation application using Java in my own time as a learning exercise. It reads Shapefiles (with some pre-processing by me) downloaded from http://download.geofabrik.de/europe.html.

I can't find elevation/topographical data in Shapefile format to download anywhere.

Can anyone suggest a free source?

Alternatively, I could invest time in learning another GIS file format and writing code to read it. I'd like to choose a format that can be read quickly by devices with low processing power, and is also likely to be widely used in future.

I want to display elevation data in some form in the navigation application I am writing. I'd like to try various approaches, so data in the form of spot heights or contour lines would be useful.

  • 4
    Usually elevation data is provided in raster format, quite often GeoTIFF.
    – underdark
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 14:33
  • European Environment Agency eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/… see gis.stackexchange.com/questions/1763/… convert to shapefile x,y,z from the raster qgis will do this.
    – Mapperz
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 19:10
  • What do you need the elevation data for? Are you trying to view contour lines, or are you trying to do calculations?
    – BradHards
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 22:28


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