A Club for YL Ham Radio Operators

Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington

(but all YLs are always welcome*)

Elevation Mapping

Using Google Earth

What's in the Way?

When you want to talk to someone on your radio, do you know what might be in the way? This tutorial will tell you how to generate an elevation map to show what might be between you and your QSO. So, let's get started:

If you don't have Google Earth on your computer, please install it. You can get the download here:

Google Earth

Open Google Earth and zoom into the area you want to work with. You can also type an address in the Search box in th top left of the screen.

The earth will turn and zoom in to the area you've chosen. Use the zoom slider on the right to zoom in or out until you can see both your QTH and the QTH you want to reach with your radio. You can also use the wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out.

You can go to the View menu at the top and click or unclick these boxes - it's optional.

Search Box

On the top menu bar, click Add Path button. This popup will appear:

Path Name

Give the path a Name (Do Not click on OK yet)

Move the Path box off to the side by doing a click&hold on the "Google Earth - New Path" bar.

Use your mouse to click on your start location, last location and points inbetween if you wish.

I have made a path from Portland to Astoria near the coast. Now you need to click on the OK in the Path Name box.

Notice this new path in your Places on the left sidebar (OREGON).


Right click on the path name (OREGON) and choose Show Elevation Profile.

An elevation profile will appear in the the lower half of the 3D Viewer. If your elevation measurement reads "0," make sure the terrain layer is turned on.


See the red vertical line near the center with the numbers in the two red boxes? Click/Hold it and you can move it along the elevation map. Also a red arrow will appear on the Earth photo and move along your path as you move it across the elevation profile.

To see the elevation and distance at different points along the path, mouse over the path.

To change measurement units (feet, meters, etc.) on a Windows computer, select Tools then Options. Then, under "Units of measurement," choose feet or meters.

To change measurement units on a Mac, select Google Earth then Preferences. Then, under "Units of measurement," choose feet or meters.

Tutorial courtesy of CJ - K7CJS. If you have any questions you can contact K7CJS at K7CJS@arrl.net.

You can watch this YouTube video to get a better visual idea how it works.

UTC Time

Callsign Lookup

Thursday YL Drop-in Net

Drop in any time between 6pm - 8pm PST

ALARA Echolink
Conference node (286905)

Friday HF MinowNet

Friday 9:30am

Pacific Time

14.310 or 14.288 if 14.310 is busy

Web Mistress

CJ – info@minownet.org

Go to top