Recorded elevation gain vs. "Update elevation"

Walther Schubert shared this question 17 days ago
Answered

Hi,

when I record a track I get a recorded elevation of, let's say, 640m. This is comparable to the record on my wife's Garmin Edge.

When I apply "Update elevation" to the track I get 780m.

The big difference is quite astonishing and I wonder which of both values is closer to reality.

Replies (6)

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Hi Walther,

- recorded elevation gain - is calculated from GNSS data (GPS, Glonass, Galileo...). In good weather and terrain conditions and with a quality multiband GNSS module the result is quite accurate

- "Update elevation" - is acquired from offline elevation data. This data is created by a generalized virtual 3D model of the terrain and is, therefore, less accurate. Nevertheless, it is useful in case the recorded elevation gain is inflicted by deviations (bad weather, rugged terrain etc.)

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Thanks for the quick reply. That is good to know.

One more question: Is the calculated elevation gain always higher or could it also be lower than reality? When planning routes for our cycling tours, it would be good to know how to assess the calculated elevation gain and whether it would be better to eat some extra carbs 😄

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Elevation gain calculated from GNSS (which is closer to reality) is usually a bit higher than that one calculated from offline data which is used for route planning. So packing some extra carbs for your trip is recommendable :)

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To my experience from a couple of years now I am planing routes with Locus, it is just the other way round. The GNSS records were, as far as I remember, always remarkable lower.

Sometimes I also make use of tracks for hiking and cycling uploaded by the community (OutdoorActive for example) which I never fully trust, btw. I always thought that with "Update elevation" I will get more reliable values for those tracks. But in view of these discrepancies I am now in doubt whether and when this function is really useful at all.

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"Update elevation" is very useful as GNSS deviations are quite common (bad quality, old phones with old GPS modules, bad weather, rugged terrain etc...). It can repair a damaged track.

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Thanks again for the explanation. My assumption was obviously just wrong.

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