releasing rare sp. localities

Charlie and Marg Baker cmbaker at TELEPORT.COM
Sun Dec 8 08:05:21 CST 1996

>I am curious about the reason "elevation" is used for "altitude".  The
>use of elevation is well entrenched in the US, but the rest of the world
>uses altitude.

Hi Robin,

The dictionary, ours happened to be Webster's but not a multi-volume
version, includes both concepts as acceptable for either altitude or

In this particular instance, the difference is due more to 'common usage'
within a discipline. In meteorology, clouds and aircraft are referred to
as being at altitude or free of the earth, but surface bound stations are
at elevation.

The World Meteorological Organization not the US National Weather Service
set the standards for station identification. The heading for
climatological data always starts with station number followed by station
name, latitude, longitude, and elevation. The "altitude" (if you prefer)
of a station above sea level is always recorded as "elevation" above sea

Common word usage within a disipline often illicits a different
connotation outside that discipline.


Charles and Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA (cmbaker at
"Orchid Species Culture" Timber Press.
Vol-1 Pescatorea, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Pholidota, Phragmipedium, Pleione
  Hardcover ISBN 0-88192-189-0   Paperback ISBN 0-88192-208-0
Vol-2 Dendrobium (all 1250 +/- species) in press
  Hardcover ISBN 0-88192-360-5   Paperback ISBN 0-88192-366-4  (progress

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