Definitions of Altitude

It is termed as altitude to the vertical distance between any point on Earth in relation to the level of the sea . To calculate the altitude, the sea level is taken as a reference, and that is why the altitude is expressed in meters followed by the symbol “msnm” which means “meters above sea level”.

In the same way, the altitude is seen as a synonym for height in relation to its surface, for example: “the cross is at an altitude of 2,000 meters, so we still have to reach it.”

The altitude is related to the thermal floors, that is, the correlation that exists between the altitude and the climate modifying factor, especially in the intertropical zone. By virtue of the higher altitude, the ambient temperature decreases, approximately 1 ° C for every 180m of height.

In reference to the above, a high altitude is a detrimental factor to athletes, such as: football, climbing, since at higher altitude, less oxygen which makes it difficult for athletes to breathe and perform.

The measuring instrument used for altitude is known as an altimeter, it is also used in aeronautics, as in sports that suffer from great unevenness, such as: mountaineering, cycling, climbing, skydiving, skiing.

Orthometric and ellipsoidal altitude

The altitude can be: orthometric and ellipsoidal. The orthometric altitude is characterized by being the distance of a point located on the earth’s surface, in relation to a reference geoid, meanwhile, the ellipsoidal altitude is the vertical distance of a point to a reference ellipsoid.

The altitudes indicated by the receivers of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are ellipsoidal, the GPS provides an error of just a few meters.