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I am working on an application that requires the elevation at a given lat/long coordinate for lots of closely spaced coordinates along any given irregular path. (The path is a trace of a glider/hang-glider flight.)

I could use SRTM/GTOPO30/GLOBE data but I only need small (but arbitrary) sections of the world at any one time so I'd like to avoid storing a DEM database locally.

There is also Google's elevation API (for use with their maps) but it has a usage limit of 2500 requests a day whereas my data can be tens of thousands of points. Plus querying a server so many times for closely spaced locations seems like a waste a bandwidth.

So, ideally, I'd like a tile server for small DEM tiles. I found this http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=1b48cd3b6276416784fe90a68c580a89 but the ArcGIS API guide doesn't contain any useful info about it. Has anyone actually used it? Are there any other similar services?

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You may find this previous StackOverflow discussion useful: stackoverflow.com/questions/1090534/… –  Nelson Apr 16 '11 at 0:25
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5 Answers 5

Another api that you can query instead of google's is the US Geological Survey Elevation Query. Information about their service can be found here:

gisdata.usgs.gov/XMLWebServices/TNM_Elevation_Service.php

A request looks like this:

http://gisdata.usgs.gov/xmlwebservices2/elevation_service.asmx/getElevation?X_Value=-118.4&Y_Value=36.7&Elevation_Units=METERS&Source_Layer=-1&Elevation_Only=true.

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Esri has an Elevation SOE that can be accessed via REST. enter image description here

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It seems to be down at the moment, but I think http://www.heywhatsthat.com/ might provide that service, and if he doesn't he might open to the idea. Cache of the FAQ page here.

enter image description here

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The source code of the profile page points to a very interesting javastring script, which could be customized I think (not trivial, but feasible). –  heltonbiker Jun 18 '12 at 1:38
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Maybe, MapQuest Open Elevation Service can help http://open.mapquestapi.com/elevation/

I don't find informations about a query limitation after a quick search about this.

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you can see here: elevations soe 10.1 Esri http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=60bf17f2d59441839135adc25654a7d9 or my soe 10.1 if you need also other methods of ISurface (LoS, Locate, Countour ect) http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=1c96538fa81948efb5a2436532964def

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