I am site-searching and want to make sure that the elevation on sites I look at is adequate (at least 750 ft above sea level). It is hard, however to pinpoint an exact
elevation for a typical site, even using a topo. map for the area. I looked into several GPS (like the Garmin Summit $250.00 at REI) which would give you
accurate, pinpoint altitude, although costly.
Offered by Craig.
If you can find your site on the Terraserver photographs, you can get the latitude and longitude to the second by clicking on 'image info'. If your site is covered by the top maps, just click on the 'topographical map' icon and it should cover the same area. Or with the Microdem software and DEM files you can get a very close to exact elevation. You can also go to the county seat recorder's office and examine the official plat plan of any piece of property, which typically has elevation, latitude and longitude of corners of the parcel. You should be able to get height within 20 feet or so even with pretty rough topographical maps. By the way, there are GPS Devices for less than $100.
Offered by George.
I've dealt with the same issues as you describe. I purchased a Magellan Map 410 and additional software for it. It works great, especially since the DOD
recently reduced the GPS error margin for civilian use. This unit uses both GPS altitude data and barometric pressure to determine elevation. This unit is the one
most preferred by helicopter pilots, which is why I chose it. Even so, I've found the elevation data to be almost useless for critical elevation evaluation. Topo maps
are what I rely upon for this critical parameter in this area.
Offered by Ron.
Microsoft's Terraserver and info on US Geological Survey topographical maps also have a link to a freeware program for viewing the maps.
Offered by Michael.
TopoZone is not the best topo maps I've seen, but it gives you the elevations you'll need.
Offered by Brent.