Access Elevation Data from Various APIs

Several web services are available that provide access to elevation data. This package provides access to several of those services and returns elevation data either as a SpatialPointsDataFrame from point elevation services or as a raster object from raster elevation services. Currently, the package supports access to the Amazon Web Services Terrain Tiles <>, the Open Topography Global Datasets API <>, and the USGS Elevation Point Query Service <>.

Travis Appveyor CRAN RStudio mirror downloads Coverage Status DOI An R package for accessing elevation data from various sources

The elevatr package currently provides access to elevation data from AWS Open Data Terrain Tiles for raster digital elevation models. For point elevation data,the USGS Elevation Point Query Service) may be used or the point elevations may be derived from the AWS Tiles. Additional elevation data sources may be added.

Currently this package includes just two primary functions to access elevation web services:

  • get_elev_point(): Get point elevations using the USGS Elevation Point Query Service (for the US Only) or using the AWS Terrian Tiles (global). This will accept a data frame of x (long) and y (lat), a SpatialPoints/SpatialPointsDataFame, or a Simple Features object as input. A SpatialPointsDataFrame or Simple Features object is returned, depending on the class of the input locations.
  • get_elev_raster(): Get elevation data as a raster (e.g. a Digital Elevation Model) from the AWS Open Data Terrain Tiles. Other sources may be added later. This will accept a data frame of of x (long) and y (lat) or any sp or raster object as input and will return a raster object of the elevation tiles that cover the bounding box of the input spatial data.


Version 0.2.0 of this package is currently available from CRAN and may be installed by:


The development version (this repo) may installed with devtools:



Mapzen terrain tiles (which supply the AWS source) contain 3DEP, SRTM, and GMTED2010 content courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey and ETOPO1 content courtesy of U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


The source code for this repository is maintained at which is also mirrored at

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Reference manual

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0.4.2 by Jeffrey Hollister, 16 days ago

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Browse source code at

Authors: Jeffrey Hollister [aut, cre] , Tarak Shah [ctb] , Alec L. Robitaille [ctb] , Marcus W. Beck [rev] , Mike Johnson [ctb]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

CC0 license

Imports sp, raster, httr, jsonlite, progressr, sf, future, furrr, purrr, methods, units, slippymath

Suggests testthat, knitr, rmarkdown, formatR, rgdal, progress

Imported by movecost.

Suggested by sharpshootR.

See at CRAN