Is there a good, easy, or already available way to make an altitude profile from a route in Google Earth? Alternatively, is there another easy (and preferably free) way to do it?
My wife and I are thinking about riding in a century, but we don't know the roads along the route very well and the organizers haven't given an altitude profile. Because parts of it are in a hilly area, we'd like to see what we're in for before we sign up.
I've already seen this question
which is quite similar, but there are a few differences.
1) I'd like to be able to combine this with the road abilities of say, Google Earth. (I'd like to get directions from here to there along roads and then get an altitude profile rather than draw a path in a Topo program).
2) While I generally only ride in the US, it would be interesting to me to be able to try this elsewhere in the world, which Topo USA doesn't do.
3) Like in the previous question, I'd much prefer a free/very low cost option. I guess I don't know if I'd use this enough to spring for TopoUSA.
4) Nearly a year has passed since the last question, and Google Earth (and its derivatives) have become quite ubiquitous. Surely someone must have done this?
A word on implementation-
I noticed you can save a .kml file in Google Earth which looks like a list of coordinates, but without altitude. If there were a way to easily look up an altitude for each coordinate, I wouldn't mind figuring out the distance between each pair of points (I assume there's a straightforward formula to find the distance between two coordinates? Or, perhaps Google Earth uses evenly spaced points?) and plotting the resultant data file.
Thanks in advance!