Poor Clio Elevation Demo

by James Edmunds

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Click on any spot on the map for USGS LIDAR Google Maps elevation information.
Because of a change in the Bing Maps API, this demo was no longer working. We have now changed it to use Google Maps and its API, adapting this Alaska-centered sample from Google to our purposes, re-centering it to New Iberia, LA; changing the feet to meters; and adding the latitude and longitude for a given point to the results balloon. Note also that the results are now shown in a balloon on the map rather than in the small panel to its immediate left, and that we are no longer utilizing the USGS LIDAR web service. Earlier users of this service may appreciate that the map navigation is now independent of the call for elevation - you can scroll/resize, etc. to your desired location without getting an elevation reading, which is fired now by the click on a point in the map.

Seems that Google and Bing have not supported these elevation readouts consistently on their maps, so this project of mine still has some value. However, Google Maps does have an Elevation Service in its v3 API, and a demo product somewhat like this one, but which initiates in Alaska.

UPDATE 2.6.2010
This project was originally created in 2007 as a response to flooding concerns sharpened by the experiences of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as ensuing storms and storm threats. In the intervening time, elevation information has been added to Google Earth and Microsoft Bing Maps (in 3D mode, where "altitude" can be the flat of the ground or the top of a building). While these maps provide rounded numbers only (no decimals), they now provide a handy, online means of ascertaining elevation at a given location. I will keep this demonstration live, however, for what use it has for anyone planning a map mashup.

How this works worked through August 2, 2014:

Click the map on any spot on the Microsoft Virtual Earth map, and a LIDAR web service from U.S.G.S. is polled for elevation information for the latitude and longitude that the map associates with the point where you clicked. The results are shown in the box above. You may scroll, zoom, etc. to see any location.

The map starts at City Hall in New Iberia, LA. I elected not to provide an address input since geocoding algorithms are typically imprecise, and you will want to identify with some certainty the spot for which you are seeking elevation information; the surer way to do that is to visually scroll the map to the location you seek... you know, kind of like looking at a map.

You could of course zoom way out and back in to use this demo on just about any location mapped by Microsoft Virtual Earth. I simply default it to my town of New Iberia, where south Louisiana residents who lived through Hurricanes Rita and Katrina are concerned about possible flooding effects from some future storm.


This is a demonstration project returning the information indicated in the manner indicated, and should be utilized as a preliminary demonstration only. Consult real estate, property, insurance, emergency services and appraisal professionals and advisers before making any decisions regarding their respective fields of expertise.


I welcome your comments. You mail email me at elevationdemo@jamesedmunds.com. Note that this is an entirely volunteer project and frame your expectations regarding the speed and nature of a reply accordingly.