Science Inventory

elevatr: Access Elevation Data from Various APIs


Hollister, Jeff AND T. Shah. elevatr: Access Elevation Data from Various APIs. U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC, 2017.


The R language for statistical computing is increasingly used for spatial data analysis . This R package, elevatr, is in response to this and provides access to elevation data from various sources directly in R. The impact of `elevatr` is that it will 1) facilitate spatial analysis in R by providing access to foundational dataset for many types of analyses (e.g. hydrology, limnology) 2) open up a new set of users and uses for APIs widely used outside of R, and 3) provide an excellent example federal open source development as promoted by the Federal Source Code Policy (


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 Mapzen Elevation Service, Mapzen Terrain Service, and the USGS Elevation Point Query Service.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 01/27/2017
Record Last Revised: 04/18/2017
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 335983