So far I have found 2 good methods to extract elevation data from Google earth Pro into a CSV file, which can be handled in QGIS. I will describe these methods below. Strangely enough there is quite a significant difference in elevation that these methods generate.

Method 1: By creating a long path of many points in Google earth and save that as a .kmz file in order to converts it to a .csv file with GPSvizualizer. This is the more common method and there are many instructional youtube videos etc. However on inspection of the elevation you will find that the saved elevation value for specific coordinates can be quite different than the elevation that can be viewed at the bottom right corner of Google Earth app...

Method 2: To get the data that is actually shown in the GE app in the bottom right corner, I invented another method, based on a simple screen capture with OCR tool (Check out capture2txt) which allows using a shortcut key to quickly extract the coordinates and elevation data displayed in the bottom right corner in Google Earth. It writes each screen capture to a new line in a text file. (I use a black filled polygon underneath the transparent data line, to improve the screen text OCR accuracy drastically)

The data extracted can be in meters or feet. I prefer feet because it its a finer grain unit than meter.. later I convert it with Excel to a CSV with meters.

I analysed the elevation obtained by these 2 methods for a certain terrain I am working on and it seemed the elevation from the second method is more accurate.. Especially after conversion to DEM and contour extraction i saw that the there was not only a height difference of up to several meters, but also different contour line shapes..

Can anyone explain what is happening and which data is better to use? I also tried to use the Google Earth API to get elevation, but didn't manage that.. I used the instructions given on GPS visualizer for that.

  • Heads up that before you work on systematic extraction of data, you should review the Maps & Earth Terms of Service, especially sections 2.b. and 2.c. google.com/help/terms_maps Sep 24, 2022 at 4:54
  • Ok Thanks for the heads up.. Its nothing systematic really, just helping out a friend who has a farm with getting some rough idea about the elevation data
    – Adamski
    Sep 27, 2022 at 11:37
  • There are publicly available elevation datasets out there. Most are not very high resolution, but you might be able to find something useful that you can open up with GIS software. Oct 2, 2022 at 3:41

1 Answer 1


GPSVisualizer does not add elevation data from Google Earth. It takes the coordinates and adds elevation data from different Digital Elevation Models (DEMS) that are mentioned on the website. Hence, Method 1 gives different results than Method 2

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