Thursday, August 30, 2007

No GetAltitude Functionality in MapPoint

Unfortunately neither Microsoft MapPoint, Microsoft Virtual Earth, nor Google Earth have GetAltitude(lat, long) functionality. That is, you cannot retrieve elevation data given a lat/long pair. However, NASA, the US Department of the Interior, and the US Geological Survey provide a tremendous amount of geographical/topographical data on the United States and its territories (including elevation) at this website.

For a more direct link to this data:
  1. Open this website:
  2. Click on the View and Download United States Data (click on the map of North America in the upper right part of the webpage)
  3. This opens the Seamless Data Distribution Viewer. You can zoom in/out and select what features to download by drawing a bounding box over your desired region. There is a 1.5 gigabyte limit per selection. On the right side of the application, you can change what attributes the viewer is displaying.
Here's a screenshot of their tool.

1 comment:

Sunil said...

You might want to check out the webservices from EarthTools and/or Geo-Names for elevation data.