Either if it is an imported object a population object or a heightfield, it should be positioned where the camera is, not at 0 0 0
What if your camera is outside the atmosphere? Or under the geometry, or other such far out locations? It's much safer to have all the objects appear in a single location that you can easily go to.
Better yet, in your default.xml file, create another camera that always looks at 0,0,0 so that when you import new objects in, you always have a view of them to jump to.
Additional options for default object placement are a good idea and we will most likely implement such functions before final release. There will certainly be a "drop to surface"/"sit on terrain" function for individual objects, and a "set object to camera location" feature also would be handy.
Copy the coordinates of your camera to the coordinates of your object (area centre) that will place it at the camera. If you want to keep your camera at exactly the same location you can create another camera and move it around to manipulate your objects.
There are a number of problems in the area of orientating around X,Y,Z or planet surface especially to do with moving populations. I'll get back about my problems with this when I've explored further but a few things in this area definitely need improving.
I'm interested in planetary scale stuff not heightfields. In this case it seems to make sense for the centre of the planet to be 0,0,0.
It's great that we're getting a drop to surface because that's crucial. Otherwise it's too difficult to see what you're doing.