Custom terrain in FlightGear is currently generated through processing shapefiles with TerraGear. In order to add custom scenery to FlightGear, you must create a custom shapefile. A shapefile is a proprietary spatial information format. You can edit them with almost every GIS package. QGIS is quite a good package for this type of project. Your goal for editing area data is to create a shapefile of a seamless layer of polygons which correspond to some type of land cover. This data is then fed into the mapserver and, possibly, TerraGear to create new scenery. Before you begin, please make sure the area you want to improve doesn't already have good coverage. Just because it looks bad in FlightGear does not mean the area has not been improved. For this, you will need to check the Flightgear Mapserver, at mapserver.flightgear.org. Let's take a look at the Finistère in Brittany, Western France: if you click here, you will quickly see and understand how FlightGear interprets the data pertaining to Finistère county. Some towns/cities (red), a few forests (green), etc. Overall, it is not a very good resolution: a lot of angles, the detail level is not that good, some towns are missing. If you want a better definition on ground, there is some work to be done! The goal being to obtain something like this: You will immediately notice the improvement to the ground. When flying, the difference is huge. Moreover, this enables the autogeneration of cities, trees, farmland, and so on. Using a GIS software gives you the opportunity to realize a full range of interesting operations: modification of map data, updates on the ground classification, etc. The following is largely adapted from the original QGIS scenery tutorial, which you may find of use. Snapping means each polygon will fit together nicely, like a jigsaw puzzle. If snapping is not enabled, the polygons will not form a continuous layer, which has a number of different problems. We don't want small holes in our scenery, nor do we want overlapping polygons. Snapping adjusts each point as you go by - you will miss occasionally and have to correct it - so you don't have to worry about lining the polygons up precisely. You may Google Maps or Yahoo Maps running alongside your program to see what is what on the black/white image, but most areas are recognizable without use of the software. If you need help determining what part of the black-and-white image, please currently refer to the original Stattosoftware Scenery Tutorial. Instead of determining in a single band image you can also combine different ETM+ bands in a RGB file. Some information about different band combinations can be found here . In order to turn the landclass into scenery we have to split it into seperate shapefiles for each landclass. If you want to see these shapefiles integrated into the Custom Scenery database you can contact papillon81 and statto (through IRC or Forum). Please be remembered that your data has to be derived from freely available (public domain) sources. Other material can not be integrated due to legal issues. Source.