I have a list of 100 lat long pairings that I wish to get the elevation data for.

I am familiar with Google Earth and I can plot each of these points but when I check the properties there is no elevation info other than the info at the bottom tool bar which would require me to manually write the elevation down.

Is there another way that I can query all 100 coordinates to get the elevation data?

  • As answered below use the Point sampling too plugin, or you could do a small python script...For a good resolution dataset you may download ACE2 from tethys.eaprs.cse.dmu.ac.uk/ACE2 Mar 15, 2017 at 17:45

3 Answers 3


You can use Point sampling tool plugin for Qgis.

Hope your coordinates pair are in excel or text delimited format.

Open it in Qgis and convert to Shapefile.

Download DEM of your area of interest (from Earth Explorer or somewhere else). If number of DEM is more than one then convert them to VRT.

Load the shapefile and the VRT/DEM and run point sempling tool, select the columns you want in result along with elevation value and save it.

You are done.

For more information on DEM, please visit DEM

  • thanks for the reply, much appreciated. I have successfully loaded my coordinates as a shapefile and also downloaded the DEMs (>1). Have you any info about how to convert from DEM to VRT? I've searched a number of places but I am not finding much info. Thanks again.
    – TheGoat
    Mar 16, 2017 at 22:41
  • In qgis, check the raster menu. There is an option of converting multiple rasters to virtual raster. Mar 17, 2017 at 1:27

An alternative approach - as you do not state which GIS system you want to use to extract elevations, nor indicate where in the world you want to extract such information - is to use the Google Elevation API. With so few points you would fall well within their fair usage policy.


I took Hornbydd's advice and investigated using the Google Elevation API through R.

There's a package for R called Googleway which you provide the lat lon pairing and it will query the Google Elevation API for these points.

  • Google provides elevation from multiple DEM sources whose varies from place to place and country to country. On an average you get SRTM90 elevation values. You can go with Google Elevation API if 90 m will suffice your purpose. Mar 17, 2017 at 14:07

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