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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 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:… – Nelson Apr 16 '11 at 0:25

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:

A request looks like this:

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As of December 2015, that URL throws a 500 error. Looks like it's gone. – Hal Mueller Dec 12 '15 at 3:44

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 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

Maybe, MapQuest Open Elevation Service can help

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 or my soe 10.1 if you need also other methods of ISurface (LoS, Locate, Countour ect)

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