AscenDB Release: peaks-1.0.0, scores-1.0.0

Hello, world, and all the peaks within it!

Today marks the formal public release of the AscenDB API with version 1.0.0 of both the peaks and scores services. This release primarily features functions for finding peaks locally or across the world, as well as summit score calculators for the competitive peakbaggers out there. Prospective users will find useful documentation on the StdLib-powered portal linked above.

What is AscenDB?

AscenDB is a database of peaks across the world and their summit statistics, including elevation, prominence, and geocentric distance estimates for every summit. Many peaks have isolation estimates, and thousands more are estimated daily. AscenDB is also unique in including omnidirectional relief and steepness estimates for over a thousand of the most prominent mountains in the world.

For users, AscenDB provides a highly flexible web-based API for accessing data about the peaks in the database and filtering by name, location, and various statistics.

All future release posts will include a change log, but for now a roadmap of some planned features will suffice. Some of these are ongoing work!


Here's some of the high priority items on the development backlog:

  • Isolation estimates, based on nearest-higher neighbor, for all peaks. Peaks with large isolation estimates will be verified individually.
  • Omnidirectional relief and steepness estimates for 5000 peaks. The current implementation of this algorithm is both computationally and bandwidth intensive, so optimizations are also on the table.
  • Tutorials on how to use the functions, posted on this site.
  • Determining and correcting (or eliminating) peaks that were included as a result of DEM-data errors.

And here's a taste of what might be coming down the pipes later this year or next year:

  • 'Strict checks' on input parameters to functions. While AscenDB's API is quite robust, it fails silently on unknown field selectors and filters. This change would add an optional parameter to every function for warning on well-formed but incorrect input.
  • Add 'sort-by-stat' functionality to endpoints that bring back lists of peaks.
  • A 'parent peak' concept, and automating the determination of every peak's parent (except for Everest, which has none).
  • Mountain ranges and their geographic area, as well as functions to find out what peaks belong to which ranges.
  • Better estimates based on existing algorithms run on higher quality DEM data.
  • Determining the stats of extraterrestrial peaks, particularly on Mars!

I'm only partially joking on the last one.

That's it for now. Got some questions or comments? Send a message using the contact page, or stop by on social media using the links below. Have fun exploring and see you on the summits!

ReleaseRob Kleffner