Elevation differences

There are times at work when I can no longer look at PowerPoints and need a break. During one of these breaks I downloaded the GPX files for the three Triple Crown of Moab races I signed up for. I noticed some differences with elevation gain/loss across different platforms.

Dead Horse

Caltopo, 2,800 feet elevation gain/loss.
Gaia GPS, 2,000 feet elevation gain/loss (blue line, the brown line is speed from the person who recorded it).

The difference is only 800 feet, so who really cares.


Caltopo, 2,750 feet elevation gain/loss.
Gaia GPS, 2,600 feet elevation gain/loss.

About the same, so that’s cool.

Behind the Rocks

This is where it got interesting…

Caltopo, 6,800 feet elevation gain/loss.
Gaia GPS, 9,700 feet elevation gain/loss.
Garmin, 5,100 feet elevation gain/loss.

What. The. Fuck. Seriously. How is there such a huge discrepancy between the three?! If Garmin is right, that’s awesome! If Gaia is right, I will have to train way harder than I anticipated. Since I am getting my master’s in GIS, I decided to use my mad skills to calculate the elevation gain/loss in ArcGIS Pro. And by mad skills I mean I Googled my way through it and learned a thing or two.

I used a digital elevation model (DEM) from the Utah Geospatial Resource Center and the GPX track from the race website. I trust the accuracy of the DEM, so I trust the ArcGIS results. About 6,600 feet of elevation gain ain’t bad! It made me feel so much better, and it means that Caltopo is the probably the most accurate out of all the mapping apps I use.

That is all.

Training Journal

Christina View All →

Endlessly seeking adventure.

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