Street elevation

How do I find out the grade of a particular street? I found the top 20 steepest streets in Seattle, but the street in question isn’t on the list, so I know it’s less than 18%.

How do I find an easily accessible topo map of Seattle?

Try Google Earth - it will tell you the elevation of any selected point.

Not exactly what you asked, but … if you really want to get detailed, you can go to the city (probably Public Works department) and look up the construction plans for the street.

I found the website for that, but it requires a trip to some city office. All we want it for is to see how steep the street is compared to the treadmill test hubby has to take in two weeks.

Xema, good idea, thanks.

Might try a visit to Home Depot. There’s a device out called a “Smart Level” - don’t know what manufacturer, nor whether there’s more than one - that will give a percent reading of whatever slope its placed on. Well, sure, might cost more money than the question is worth.

Or call in to the public works department - you just might find someone willing to look it up for you. Or not, but why not try?

OK, new, but related question: Where do I find the elevation on Google Earth? I found the street but no elevation.

Civil Guy, We have a level like that… I’ll give it a try.

It’s in the status bar at the bottom of the window. It shows the location of the point on the left, eye altitude on the right, and altitude of the point in the middle. The status bar may be turned on and off under the “view” menu. Of course, for your purposes, you will have to get the altitude of a couple of points, then use the ruler tool to measure the length of street between them (tools -> ruler). You can use it to measure paths as well as straight lines if the street curves.

Do you have a protractor and a straw? Tape the straw to the flat side of the protractor, hang a string from middle of the flat part with a weight on the bottom.
Go to the base of the hill and hold the protractor, flat side up and look through the straw up to the top of the hill. In face, look at something about as high off the top of the hill as the height you are standing, maybe have a friend stand at the top and point it at his head. After you’ve done that, pinch the string against the protractor and look at what degree it’s at. Depending on how your protractor is set up, you might have to subtract your number from 180.

I like the Google Earth option, but you can find online topographical maps of the U.S., as well. One easy one is at Enter the address, either street and city or only the city or enter the latitiude and longitude. The next window will let you choose either aerial photos or topo maps.

picunurse, as an aside I am curious if you could post the link to the top 20 steepest streets in Seattle.

Here you go.

The National Map viewer has an Elevation mode where it pops up a window with the elevation where ever you click.