Elevation of Object

vCalc Reviewed
Equation / Last modified by KurtHeckman on 2018/03/07 13:01
vCalc.Elevation of Object

The Elevation of Object calculator computes the height of an object (Y) based on two angle measurements (θ1 and θ2) and the distance between them (x).

INSTRUCTIONS: Choose the preferred units and enter the following:

  • (θ1)  This is the angle from the further observation from level ground to the top of the elevation.
  • (θ2)  This is the angle from the nearer observation from level ground to the top of the elevation.
  • (x)  This is the measured distance between the two observations.Elevation.png           Height (Y) of Object 

Height of the Elevation(Y): The calculator returns the height in meters.  However, this can be automatically converted to other length units (e.g. feet) via the pull-down menu.

Related Calculators:

The Math / Science

The formula for the elevation or height of an object is:

       y = x /(cot(θ1) - cot(θ2))


Note: the assumption is that both observations are at the same elevation.  For a simple video on how this calculator is used, CLICK HERE.  For another method in computing the height of an elevation based the time an object falls from that height CLICK HERE.


This formula can be used to accurately compute the height of an object (Y) above the horizontal line made by two observations.   To do so, make one angle observation (`theta_1`) from any distance from the object.  Then, staying at approximately the same height, move closer to the object by a measured distance (x) and make a second angle observation (`theta_2`).  This formula will then compute the height (Y).


This formula is commonly used in science of surveys.  It is also useful in some architecture applications and in other activities such as Search and Rescue, Fire Fighting and even Rock Climbing.


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