Monday, March 12, 2007

There's no set site for determining a city's elevation

I was wondering, the altitude of our city is 6,012 feet above sea level. Where in the city did they determine that this was the altitude for Colorado Springs?<
- Conrad LaBranche

ANSWER: There is no official site for determining elevation, but most communities focuss on a central point in the original township or city. Frequently that is the city hall or the main post office. Other times it is a median of the downtown or central areas.

We’re uncertain where the 6,012 elevation you cite is listed. Although the state of Colorado’s Web site lists Colorado Springs at 6,008 feet, the corner at Cascade and Pikes Peak avenues where the city’s stake was driven in 1871 is 6,002 feet.

We have a variety of elevations in the city. For example, drivers going north will travel uphill to 6,035 feet at Woodmen Road and Interstate 25. Keep going north and it’s up and up. Monument is 6,960 feet, and parts of the Air Force Academy are more than 7,000 feet.

Since the early days of the city, when many elevations were determined, it’s now much easier to get specific elevation data. Check out Google Earth, which maps the elevation of every property in Colorado Springs; the National Elevation Dataset of the U.S. Geological Survey; National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 for which surveyors walked the land and which is the datum used by the city; or the North American Vertical Datum of 1988 in which GPS and higher technology was employed and which is used by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department for plan reviews and by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Anonymous zen said...

I believe that 6012 foot elevation is listed on a highway sign on highway 24 at the Manitou / Colorado Springs boundary.

12:31 PM, March 12, 2007  

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