How to capture real terrain into displacement map for mountains?

I’ve been trying the most popular method I found online to capture real terrain from topographic maps and convert them into displacement maps (http://forum.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=876537)
(workflow: capture topographical map (strm/tiff file), convert to height map in MICRODEM, then use it for displacement in 3ds max)

Seems this method seems really obsolete now. A lot of bugs and a few of the programs/plugins dont even work anymore.

I spent the entire day toiling through all these road blocks and when I finally pumped out a height map, the results weren’t as promising as I’d expected.

Do people still use this method or is there hopefully an easier way to generate realistic mountain scapes?

sorry for late bump. Found an answer though so I thought I’d share.

Sketch-up allows you to grab terrain and convert it directly into geometry.

Try this for getting heightmaps.

Holy hell, that’s a lot easier! Thanks.