Yes, it's possible that short distance inclines and descents may not be counted depending on where the elevation samples are along the route, but it's worth bearing in mind that no source of elevation data is 100% accurate. Also, ascent figures will vary a lot between devices and applications due to different sampling intervals.
So am i right in thinking that if i am walking across a narrow steep ravine, say 50mtrs deep and only 30mtrs across it may miss this ascent / descent altogether?. We do a lot of wild moor walking and come across this situation regulary, so a regular check sounds the more accurate for for us, maybe not for cycling. Or am I assuming incorrectly.
Still a great app though. Thanks..
That will be a great improvement to an already brilliant tool. I have experienced the inflated elevation figures on Plotaroute, but on other programmes too. This will remove some of the anxiety when you plan a a tour in a hilly area and it looks extremely tough and then turns out not to be so bad! I think the problem can sometimes be that the elevation model is not perfectly aligned with the road or not as detailed. I had an extreme case where the road ran along the bottom of a cliff in a river valley and was actually gently downhill but the elevation profile (not in Plotaroute) looked very steeply jagged.
Thanks for your feedback Glenn - glad you're finding plotaroute easy to use.
I just started using PAR a few weeks ago. Very good program and much better than MapMyRide which I have used the past 4 yrs.
I noticed right away that the elevations seemed inflated (anywhere from 20-30%). Introducing smoothing is a good idea because as stated in a previous ascent calc thread, small rises don't affect the ride much and a rider is looking for "real" elevation increases. It's best to find a way to have calculation results that are similar to other programs like Strava, MMR etc.
Being one of the ones giving feedback on this topic I'm very happy to see you make an effort on imprioving this. Kudos to you! :-)
We are currently in the process of implementing some changes to our elevation profiles and statistics following feedback from some users that occasional fluctuations in elevation readings sometimes did not reflect real world conditions and were leading to inflated total ascent calculations. To alleviate this problem we have decided to increase the default distance interval we use between elevation readings, which should help to smooth out superficial bumps and dips that don't have a material effect on the overall profile of the route.
When you save a new route, we will now generate elevation readings at 90m intervals along the route (previously 30m) up to a maximum of 5000 readings per route, when the interval will be increased accordingly. You can still view a provisional elevation profile as you are plotting a route, but this is based on a maximum of 500 readings until the route is saved, when the more detailed version is generated, along with the complete set of elevation statistics for the route.
As part of these changes we have also added a new Total Descent figure to the elevation statistics available for each route. This was another request from our Feature Requests list.
The changes have already been implemented for any new routes you save and we will be recalculating the elevation statistics for all existing routes as soon as possible, so that elevation statistics for different routes can be compared on a like for like basis. Over 200,000 routes have now been saved on plotaroute.com, so these recalculations will happen over time, although we expect this to be completed within the next 7 days.
Hopefully these changes will also make it easier to compare ascent calculations from plotaroute.com with ascent calculations from other devices and applications, although please bear in mind that ascent calculations will always vary depending on the distance between sampled elevation readings and that ascent calculations by GPS devices can often be affected by altitude measurement inaccuracies and gaps in recordings due to a weak or lost GPS signal.