I understand that you can obtain an elevation profile for path & line measures, and you can also do this for a circle's circumference.

However, is it possible to obtain the highest elevation point within a drawn circle in Google Earth?


1 Answer 1


Using built in tools within Google Earth unfortunately it is not possible to do this, however you can use free/opensource GIS software such as QGIS to perform this calculation.

  1. Draw the circle in Google Earth and note the center coordinates and radius.
  2. Export the circle as a KML or KMZ file from Google Earth, you can also create a polygon in QGIS based on the coordinate and radius you are interested in
  3. Download and open QGIS and import the circle file as a vector layer.
  4. Obtain a digital elevation model (DEM) that covers the area of interest. DEMs provide elevation data for various locations on the Earth's surface. -- This website provides some free resources you could potentially use to download a DEM https://gisgeography.com/free-global-dem-data-sources/
  5. Load the DEM into QGIS as a raster layer.
  6. Use the "Clip" or "Extract by Mask" tool in QGIS to clip the DEM using the circular area layer.
  7. In the resulting clipped DEM layer sort the elevation attribute from high to low, and the highest value would be your highest elevation.
  • In newer QGIS versions, there is a global DEM available under XYZ tiles: Mapzen global terrain. You can also download an extent to use it locally
    – Babel
    Dec 27, 2023 at 9:13

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