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Re: Editor's question--altitude/elevation

Subject: Re: Editor's question--altitude/elevation
From: "Jeff Root"
Date: 7 Mar 2006 14:47:51 -0800
Newsgroups: sci.astro
Axel Harvey replied to Jeff Root:

>> I have no direct experience with any of this, but I've
>> *always* heard and read the term "elevation" used for
>> angle above the horizontal in artillery and surveying.
>> *Never* "altitude".
> All my astronomy books use "altitude" for the
> angle, as does my copy of the American Practical
> Navigator. I only posted my question because the
> Horizons website uses "elevation."

Yes.  In my extremely limited experience, it appears that
navigation and astronomy both use the term "altitude",
while surveying, military, and aerospace use "elevation".
If that assessment is correct, there probably are a horde
of exceptions to the rules, and the rules must break down
completely when disciplines overlap.

Horizons almost certainly uses "elevation" because the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory used it in connection with aircraft.

Could you post a list of specific citations?
Alternatively, would you like me to attempt to generate
such a list?  I'm interested, but I'm not sure my interest
is as strong as yours.
  -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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