More on Elevation Profiles

A couple of posts back I wrote about discovering Elevation Profiles for Paths in Google Earth. I’ve spent a little bit more time working with this, and came up with another neat activity for a classroom.

In the last post I created a path with only two endpoints – basically a straight-line cross section. I also did this across fairly large areas of land, entire states, in fact. This activity focuses in on the details a bit, and uses the directions section of Google Earth.

First, go to the Directions tab and input two locations. These can be addresses, lat-long coordinates, or any other type of locator. For this activity, I suggest keeping the distances fairly short, probably within about 50 miles. Here are some suggestions:

  • From your home to your school, workplace, or church
  • Between two cities
  • Between your house and your best friend’s house

In the example below, I used Greenville and Spartanburg.

Screen shot 2011-04-27 at 6.17.33 AM

When you hit Enter or click on the magnifying glass search icon, you get driving directions between the two cities. For some strange reason Google Earth chose Wade Hampton Boulevard instead of I-85. I guess it went with the shortest route rather than the quickest. No matter – I can still illustrate the point. Continue reading “More on Elevation Profiles”

Elevation Profiles in Google Earth

File this one under “How the heck did I let this one slip past me?” I’ve just discovered Elevation Profiles for Paths in Google Earth. I have no idea when this became a part of Google Earth (years ago?) but I came across this feature as I was plotting my river routes for my Backyard to Ocean post.

For any given path in Google Earth, you can select Elevation Profile and it will display a graph showing the rise and fall of that path from sea level. This works for ANY path, regardless of length or the number of anchor points. For demonstration sake, though, I like to use a path with only two anchor points – a beginning and and end.

Let’s say, for example, that you create a straight line path across the continental United States. You have two anchor points – one on the west coast, and one on the east coast. Your path would look something like this…

US Selection

Once you have saved that path to My Places, you can right click on the path and select Show Elevation Profile from the menu. That would give you a graph like this…

United States

Continue reading “Elevation Profiles in Google Earth”