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Math Help - Calculate Elevation Gain and Loss

  1. #1
    Newbie
    Joined
    Oct 2010
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    Calculate Elevation Gain and Loss

    I need to calculate my elevation gain and loss. Say I started at 1000 feet above sea level. Then, I go on a hike and go up and down hilly terrain. I might reach some different elevations:

    - Start
    1000
    1030
    1100
    1150
    1090
    1220
    1500
    1350
    1200
    1092
    1000
    - End

    Is there a calculation or formula that I can use to determine my total gain and loss based on my starting elevation of 1000?
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  2. #2
    Super Member

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    Lexington, MA (USA)
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    Hello, nnhubbard!

    I need to calculate my elevation gain and loss.
    Say I started at 1000 feet above sea level.
    Then I go on a hike and go up and down hilly terrain.
    I might reach some different elevations:

    . . \begin{array}{c}\text{Start} \\ \hline<br />
1000 \\ 1030 \\ 1100 \\ 1150 \\ 1090 \\ 1220 \\ 1500 \\ 1350 \\ 1200 \\ 1092 \\ 1000 \\ \hline \text{End} \end{array}


    Is there a calculation or formula that I can use to determine my total gain and loss
    based on my starting elevation of 1000?

    We can take the difference of consecutive elevation and see our progress.
    . . [Positive = hiking uphill. .Negative = hiking downhill.]


    . . \begin{array}{c}\text{Start} \\ \hline<br />
1000 \\ 1030 \\ 1100 \\ 1150 \\ 1090 \\ 1220 \\ 1500 \\ 1350 \\ 1200 \\ 1092 \\ 1000 \\ \hline \text{End} \end{array} \quad \begin{array}{c} +30 \\ +20 \\ + 50 \\ -60 \\ +130 \\ +280 \\ -150 \\ -150 \\ -108 \\ -92 \end{array}<br />


    We find that we hiked a total of 560 feet uphill
    . . and a total of 560 feet downhill.

    We should not be surprised that the net distance is zero.
    After all, we ended at the same elevation that we started from.
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  3. #3
    Newbie
    Joined
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2
    I understand how to do the math on paper. My question is more, looking for a equation or formula to calculate a dynamic input of elevation values for a computer program.

    So, I wouldn't be doing the math like you showed, I would be inputing a large amount of values like I showed and need those calculated with a final output...
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