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What Is Altitude

The definition of altitude, according to Dictionary.com, is:
"The height of anything above a given planetary reference plane, especially above sea level on earth."

So what is sea level and how is it calculated?

Highlights from the video:

  • The earth is not round, it is an ellipsoid that is 42 km wider across at the equator than from pole to pole.
  • The summit of Chimborazo, in Ecuador, is the furthest point from the center of the earth. Not Everest.
  • Water is held to the surface of the earth by gravitational pull.
  • Continents and mountains have more gravitational pull thus attracting more water which raises the sea level.
  • Geodesists define Sea level as the calculated height of the sea as if the mass of the mountain was there but not the mountain itself.
  • Geodesists created the World Gravitational Model to predict the average seal level within a meter anywhere on earth which is used in GPS devices and is the basis for the actual height of mountains on the earth.