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How to find elevation on Google Maps on your computer or mobile device

  • You can find your elevation on Google Maps by turning on the “Terrain” function.
  • By default, Google Maps only shows elevation in mountainous areas — it doesn’t report elevation everywhere.
  • For more detailed elevation information, consider using Google Earth Pro.

Google Maps has revolutionized how people get from point A to point B, and even how they discover new locations.

Included in Google Maps’ wide variety of features are options to see terrain and elevation, allowing people in mountainous regions to have a better feel for the altitude of the area they’re exploring.

Users can turn on the Google Maps terrain feature using a desktop or mobile device. Note that Google Maps does not report elevation for all areas — only naturally mountainous land will have an elevation option.

How to find elevation on Google Maps in a web browser

1. Type https://www.google.com/maps into your web browser on a Mac or PC.

2. Type your location into the search bar in the top left corner of the page. You can either type in a specific address, or a more general location.

Type your location in the search bar.

3. Hover your mouse pointer over Layers in the bottom left corner of the map area to reveal a menu, and then click Terrain in the menu to show topography and elevation.

Click “Terrain” in the menu that appears after hovering your mouse pointer over “Layers.”

Note: Make sure the toggle for View topography and elevation is turned on in the Terrain pop-up at the bottom of the map. If it’s off, turn it on by clicking the toggle – it will turn blue when on.

Toggle on “View topography and elevation.”

4. Zoom into the area on the map where you want to see the elevation by clicking the “+” sign in the bottom-right corner of the screen. The numbers will appear as you get closer. If you zoom in too far, the contour and elevation lines will disappear.

Quick tip: If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, place your mouse pointer inside the map area and scroll wheel up to zoom in.

How to find elevation on Google Maps on a mobile device

1. Open the Google Maps app or type https://www.google.com/maps into a mobile browser.

2. Type your location into the search bar.

Enter your location in the search bar.

3. In the app, tap the Layers icon in the top right and select Terrain under Map type.

Tap the “Layers” icon, and then select “Terrain.”

In the mobile browser, click the hamburger menu – the three horizontal lines – in the top left corner, and select Terrain.

4. In the app, close out of the menu by hitting the gray X button the top right.

5. Elevation lines will appear as you zoom in and out.

Note: The numbers may be faint, as they are written into the contours of the map.

How to find elevation on Google Earth

If you want more accurate elevation information, consider downloading Google Earth Pro.

If you’re willing to put in the time to learn how to use it, the program will provide you with more than just a rough estimate of the elevation of your location.

1. Download and install Google Earth Pro onto your computer.

2. Open Google Earth Pro on your computer.

3. In the top left corner, type in your location in the search box. Then, click the Search button on the right side of the search box. The globe on the map area will spin and stop on your location.

Search for your location.

4. Zoom in on the area of the map where you want to see the elevation by clicking the + sign in the slider on the right side of the map area.

5. Click Add Path – the icon with three dots and a line connecting them – in the toolbar above the map area.

Click “Add Path.”

6. A dialog box will pop up, and if it’s obscuring the map area, drag it out of the way.

7. Click on your location pin and drag along the map to draw a path.

Draw a path starting from where you’re located to another point in the map area.

8. Click OK in the dialog box to lock in the path.

9. Click Edit in the top left corner of the Google Earth Pro window, and then select Show Elevation Profile in the menu.

10. A graph will appear below the map area, and as you scroll along, you’ll be able to see the elevation of every point along the path, including your location. There will also be a red arrow inside the map area that shows the elevation information of the point it’s pointing to.

The red arrow in the map area and the graph below it show the elevation information of points along the path.