I would like to say I am a complete novice to the world of GIS, so if I ask stupid questions or make strange assumptions, please point it out and I will try to clarify myself.
I would like to make a 3D-model of the earth with relief. To do this, I was thinking to divide the earths surface in a matrix of about 10000x10000 (dividing the earth horizontally and vertically) points and then find the elevation for all these points. So I need to find an excel file somewhere with a lot of (lat,lon) points on this earth and their elevation. No idea where to start though. First of all I looked into the google elevation api, but there is a limit to request max 2,500 elevations per day, so this does not seem like a good option. Another alternative I have looked into is the gmted2010 data on earthexplorer.usgs.gov, but I only seem to be able to download the data as tiff files, while I just would like to download an excel file. Can someone advise me the best place to find (lat,lon) combinations of the entire earth's surface with their elevation? Furthermore I also want to know how to find coordinates of the points that make up the borders of the countries in our world?
I will first try to get an answer to the first part here and then later post my other question about the boundaries. It was more intended to guide people in the right direction when choosing between different solutions to offer me (i.e. which one is most compatible with the boundary task). Radouxju, I tried your solution, but am still confused on some parts (I repeat: I am a complete newbie to all this). So it would be great if you could clarify some things to me:) First of all I downloaded one of the NOAA tiles to try it out and opened it in Photoshop, the only software of the possibilities they list, that I posses. I did everything as they explained here (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/topo/report/s11/s11Gx.html) and now have a really good looking graphic on my screen, coloured according to the elevation. I looked everywhere for solutions to export this to ASCII, but without succes. The only thing that mentioned ASCII was saving as EPS and choosing ASCII as encoding. But this still saves it as a graphic. So no idea how to get from the file I downloaded to ASCII.