Navigation Orienteering
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Finding your way around. Getting from point A to point B. Spatial Intelligence

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Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navigation, marine navigation, aeronautic navigation, and space navigation. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks. All navigational techniques involve locating the navigator's position compared to known locations or patterns. Navigation, in a broader sense, can refer to any skill or study that involves the determination of position and direction. In this sense, navigation includes orienteering and pedestrian navigation. Latitude - Longitude

Position is a certain place or abstract location in a portion of space where something is situated. Place is a point located with respect to surface features of some region. Orientation is a function of the mind involving awareness of three dimensions as well as the awareness of time, place and person. Position and Momentum Space (wiki)

Direction is a line where something moves to that leads to a place or point. Relative Direction.

Navigational Instrument refers to the instruments used by nautical navigators and pilots as tools of their trade. The purpose of navigation is to ascertain the present position and to determine the speed, direction etc. to arrive at the port or point of destination. History of Navigation (wiki)

Orienteering is a group of sports that requires navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain, and normally moving at speed. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points. Originally a training exercise in land navigation for military officers, orienteering has developed many variations. Among these, the oldest and the most popular is foot orienteering. For the purposes of this article, foot orienteering serves as a point of departure for discussion of all other variations, but almost any sport that involves racing against a clock and requires navigation with a map is a type of orienteering.

US. Orienteering - Orienteering - Orienteering
Orienteering Book (amazon)

Map & Compass Handbook (amazon)

Environmental Awareness

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.

Geo Caching - Groundspeak - Letter Boxing

Geographic Information System is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data. The acronym GIS is sometimes used for geographic information science (GIScience) to refer to the academic discipline that studies geographic information systems and is a large domain within the broader academic discipline of geoinformatics. What goes beyond a GIS is a spatial data infrastructure, a concept that has no such restrictive boundaries.

satellites Satellite Navigation is a system that uses satellites to provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning. It allows small electronic receivers to determine their location (longitude, latitude, and altitude/elevation) to high precision (within a few metres) using time signals transmitted along a line of sight by radio from satellites. The system can be used for providing position, navigation or for tracking the position of something fitted with a receiver (satellite tracking). The signals also allow the electronic receiver to calculate the current local time to high precision, which allows time synchronisation. Satnav systems operate independently of any telephonic or internet reception, though these technologies can enhance the usefulness of the positioning information generated.

Global Positioning System is a space-based radio navigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Air Force. It is a global navigation satellite system that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. GPS Satellite is a satellite used by the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS). The first satellite in the system, Navstar 1, was launched February 22, 1978. The GPS satellite constellation is operated by the 50th Space Wing of the United States Air Force. The GPS satellites circle the Earth at an altitude of about 20,000 km (12,427 miles) and complete two full orbits every day.

GPS Navigation Device is a device that is capable of receiving information from GPS satellites and then to calculate the device's geographical position. Using suitable software, the device may display the position on a map, and it may offer directions. The Global Positioning System (GPS) uses a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) made up of a network of a minimum of 24, but currently 30, satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS Apps

Real Time Kinematic positioning is a satellite navigation technique used to enhance the precision of position data derived from satellite-based positioning systems (global navigation satellite systems, GNSS) such as GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou. It uses measurements of the phase of the signal's carrier wave in addition to the information content of the signal, and relies on a single reference station or interpolated virtual station to provide real-time corrections, providing up to centimetre-level accuracy. With reference to GPS in particular, the system is commonly referred to as Carrier-Phase Enhancement, or CPGPS. It has applications in land survey, hydrographic survey, and in consumer unmanned aerial vehicle navigation.

Geolocation is the identification or estimation of the real-world geographic location of an object, such as a radar source, mobile phone, or Internet-connected computer terminal. In its simplest form geolocation involves the generation of a set of geographic coordinates and is closely related to the use of positioning systems, but its usefulness is enhanced by the use of these coordinates to determine a meaningful location, such as a street address. For either geolocating or positioning, the locating engine often uses radio frequency (RF) location methods, for example Time Difference Of Arrival (TDOA) for precision. TDOA systems often utilise mapping displays or other geographic information system. When a GPS signal is unavailable, geolocation applications can use information from cell towers to triangulate the approximate position, a method that is not as accurate as GPS but has greatly improved in recent years. This is in contrast to earlier radiolocation technologies, for example Direction Finding where a line of bearing to a transmitter is achieved as part of the process.

Orientation (geometry) is the orientation, angular position, or attitude of an object such as a line, plane or rigid body is part of the description of how it is placed in the space it is in. Namely, it is the imaginary rotation that is needed to move the object from a reference placement to its current placement. A rotation may not be enough to reach the current placement. It may be necessary to add an imaginary translation, called the object's location (or position, or linear position). The location and orientation together fully describe how the object is placed in space. The above-mentioned imaginary rotation and translation may be thought to occur in any order, as the orientation of an object does not change when it translates, and its location does not change when it rotates.

Dead Reckoning is the process of calculating one's current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course. The corresponding term in biology, used to describe the processes by which animals update their estimates of position or heading, is path integration. Drift is the angle between the heading of the airplane and the desired track. A is the last known position (fix, usually shown with a circle). B is the air position (usually shown with a plus sign). C is the DR position (usually shown with a triangle). Dead reckoning is subject to cumulative errors. Advances in navigational aids that give accurate information on position, in particular satellite navigation using the Global Positioning System, have made simple dead reckoning by humans obsolete for most purposes. However, inertial navigation systems, which provide very accurate directional information, use dead reckoning and are very widely applied. By analogy with their navigational use, the words dead reckoning are also used to mean the process of estimating the value of any variable quantity by using an earlier value and adding whatever changes have occurred in the meantime. Often, this usage implies that the changes are not known accurately. The earlier value and the changes may be measured or calculated quantities. There is speculation on the origin of the term, but no reliable information.

Relative Direction are Left, Right, Forward(s), Backward(s), Up, and Down. No absolute direction corresponds to any of the relative directions. This is a consequence of the translational invariance of the laws of physics: nature, loosely speaking, behaves the same no matter what direction one moves. As demonstrated by the Michelson-Morley null result, there is no absolute inertial frame of reference. There are definite relationships between the Relative directions, however. Left and right, forward and backward, and up and down are three pairs of complementary directions, each pair orthogonal to both of the others. Relative directions are also known as egocentric coordinates. Aborigines speak in directions of north, south, east and west instead of left, right, back or forward.

Wayfinding encompasses all of the ways in which people (and animals) orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place. The basic process of wayfinding involves four stages: Orientation is the attempt to determine one's location, in relation to objects that may be nearby and the desired destination. Route decision is the selection of a course of direction to the destination. Route monitoring is checking to make sure that the selected route is heading towards the destination. Destination recognition is when the destination is recognized.

Mental Mapping is a person's point-of-view perception of their area of interaction. Although this kind of subject matter would seem most likely to be studied by fields in the social sciences, this particular subject is most often studied by modern day geographers. They study it to determine subjective qualities from the public such as personal preference and practical uses of geography like driving directions. Mass media also have a virtually direct effect on a person's mental map of the geographical world. The perceived geographical dimensions of a foreign nation (relative to one's own nation) may often be heavily influenced by the amount of time and relative news coverage that the news media may spend covering news events from that foreign region. For instance, a person might perceive a small island to be nearly the size of a continent, merely based on the amount of news coverage that he or she is exposed to on a regular basis. In psychology, the term names the information maintained in the mind of an organism by means of which it may plan activities, select routes over previously traveled territories, etc. The rapid traversal of a familiar maze depends on this kind of mental map if scents or other markers laid down by the subject are eliminated before the maze is re-run.

Navigating based solely on surrounding Smells. The brain can form a virtual landscape map of its surroundings based solely on smells.

Navigation using Magnetics

Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of Earth.

Geography IQ - Geography - Geography

Smarty Pins with Google - Google Earth Explore

Topography is the study of the shape and features of the surface of the Earth and other observable astronomical objects including planets, moons, and asteroids. The topography of an area could refer to the surface shapes and features themselves, or a description (especially their depiction in maps). Topology

Topographical Disorientation is the inability to orient oneself in one's surroundings as a result of focal brain damage. This disability may result from the inability to make use of selective spatial information (e.g., environmental landmarks) or to orient by means of specific cognitive strategies such as the ability to form a mental representation of the environment, also known as a cognitive map. It may be part of a syndrome known as visuospatial dysgnosia.

Altitude is defined based on the context in which it is used (aviation, geometry, geographical survey, sport, atmospheric pressure, and many more). As a general definition, altitude is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The reference datum also often varies according to the context. Although the term altitude is commonly used to mean the height above sea level of a location, in geography the term elevation is often preferred for this usage. Vertical distance measurements in the "down" direction are commonly referred to as depth.


Map is a symbolic depiction emphasizing relationships between elements of some space, such as objects, regions, or themes. Many maps are static, fixed to paper or some other durable medium, while others are dynamic or interactive. Although most commonly used to depict geography, maps may represent any space, real or imagined, without regard to context or scale, such as in brain mapping, DNA mapping, or computer network topology mapping. The space being mapped may be two dimensional, such as the surface of the earth, three dimensional, such as the interior of the earth, or even more abstract spaces of any dimension, such as arise in modeling phenomena having many independent variables.  Map Box

Topographic Map is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines, but historically using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both natural and man-made features.

Trail Map is a map used to aid in navigation and can symbolize an assorted amount of information of a particular area or contain only a single representation of the data it represents.

Road Map is a map that primarily displays roads and transport links rather than natural geographical information. It is a type of navigational map that commonly includes political boundaries and labels, making it also a type of political map. In addition to roads and boundaries, road maps often include points of interest, such as prominent businesses or buildings, tourism sites, parks and recreational facilities, hotels and restaurants, as well as airports and train stations. A road map may also document non-automotive transit routes, although often these are found only on transit maps.

Geologic Map is a special-purpose map made to show geological features. Rock units or geologic strata are shown by color or symbols to indicate where they are exposed at the surface. Bedding planes and structural features such as faults, folds, foliations, and lineations are shown with strike and dip or trend and plunge symbols which give these features' three-dimensional orientations. Compass

The genius of the London Tube Map: Michael Bierut (video and text)

Compass is an instrument used for navigation and orientation that shows direction relative to the geographic cardinal directions (or points). Usually, a diagram called a compass rose shows the directions north, south, east, and west on the compass face as abbreviated initials. When the compass is used, the rose can be aligned with the corresponding geographic directions; for example, the "N" mark on the rose points northward. Compasses often display markings for angles in degrees in addition to (or sometimes instead of) the rose. North corresponds to 0°, and the angles increase clockwise, so east is 90° degrees, south is 180°, and west is 270°. These numbers allow the compass to show azimuths or bearings, which are commonly stated in this notation.

Animals use Earths Magnetism to Navigate

Flight Instruments are the instruments in the cockpit of an aircraft that provide the pilot with information about the flight situation of that aircraft, such as altitude, airspeed and direction. They improve safety by allowing the pilot to fly the aircraft in level flight, and make turns, without a reference outside the aircraft such as the horizon. Visual flight rules (VFR) require an airspeed indicator, an altimeter, and a compass or other suitable magnetic direction indicator. Instrument flight rules (IFR) additionally require a gyroscopic pitch-bank (artificial horizon), direction (directional gyro) and rate of turn indicator, plus a slip-skid indicator, adjustable altimeter, and a clock. Flight into Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) require radio navigation instruments for precise takeoffs and landings.

Which way is North ?

How to tell which way is North using the Sun

Navigate using the Sun Diagram The Directions below are for the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere it's the Opposite (North is now South)

1: Place a 3' long stick in the ground firmly
2: Mark the end of the shadow from the 3' long stick with a smaller stick.
3: Now wait around 15 minutes.
4: Use another small stick to mark where the end of the shadow is now.
5: Lay another stick on the ground so that it touches both small sticks.
6: Place your left foot towards the first small stick marker.
7: Place your right foot towards the second small stick marker.
8: With your body facing the 2 small sticks used to mark the ends of the shadow you are now facing north. Your Right is east, your left is west and behind you is south.

At 12 noon your shadow will be facing North in the Northern Hemisphere

Finding North without a compass #1 (youtube)

Another way using the Sun to tell Direction:
If you have a digital watch with no hour & minute hand then just replicate a watch with sticks to match the time on your digital watch.

1: Point the hour hand at the sun.
2: Half way between the hour hand and 12 noon will be do south. (If you are in the southern Hemisphere the it would be north)

When facing north, your Right is East, your Left is West.

At Night know how to use the Stars and Moon to tell North, but of course it's always best to carry a Compass.

The North Star is the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper constellation.
You can also find the North Star by using the Big Dipper constellation.
The outermost stars of the cup of the Big Dipper forms a straight line that always "points" to the North Star or Polaris.
Find True North Without a Compass (wikihow)
Tell Time Without a Clock - Time Knowledge
Natural Navigation
Mapping Tools

Hiking and Trails Information

Star Navigation

Big Dipper Celestial Navigation is the ancient science of position fixing that enables a navigator to transition through a space without having to rely on estimated calculations, or dead reckoning, to know their position. Celestial navigation uses "sights," or angular measurements taken between a celestial body (the sun, the moon, a planet or a star) and the visible horizon. The sun is most commonly used, but navigators can also use the moon, a planet, Polaris, or one of 57 other navigational stars whose coordinates are tabulated in the nautical almanac and air almanacs. Celestial navigation is the use of angular measurements (sights) between celestial bodies and the visible horizon to locate one's position on the globe, on land as well as at sea. At a given time, any celestial body is located directly over one point on the Earth's surface. The latitude and longitude of that point is known as the celestial body’s geographic position (GP), the location of which can be determined from tables in the Nautical or Air Almanac for that year. The measured angle between the celestial body and the visible horizon is directly related to the distance between the celestial body's GP and the observer's position. After some computations, referred to as sight reduction, this measurement is used to plot a line of position (LOP) on a navigational chart or plotting work sheet, the observer's position being somewhere on that line. (The LOP is actually a short segment of a very large circle on the earth which surrounds the GP of the observed celestial body. An observer located anywhere on the circumference of this circle on the earth, measuring the angle of the same celestial body above the horizon at that instant of time, would observe that body to be at the same angle above the horizon.) Sights on two celestial bodies give two such lines on the chart, intersecting at the observer's position (actually, the two circles would result in two points of intersection arising from sights on two stars, but one can be discarded since it will be far from the estimated position. Most navigators will use sights of three to five stars, if they're available, since that will result in only one common intersection and minimize the chance for error. That premise is the basis for the most commonly used method of celestial navigation, and is referred to as the 'altitude-intercept method'. There are several other methods of celestial navigation which will also provide position finding using sextant observations, such as the noon sight, and the more archaic lunar distance method. Joshua Slocum used the lunar distance method during the first ever recorded single-handed circumnavigation of the world. Unlike the altitude-intercept method, the noon sight and lunar distance methods do not require accurate knowledge of time. The altitude-intercept method of celestial navigation requires that the observer know exact Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) at the moment of his observation of the celestial body, to the second—since every four seconds that the time source (commonly a chronometer or in aircraft, an accurate "hack watch") is in error, the position will be off by approximately one nautical mile. Dimensions (Navigating Space).

Galactic Coordinate System is a celestial coordinate system in spherical coordinates, with the Sun as its center, the primary direction aligned with the approximate center of the Milky Way galaxy, and the fundamental plane approximately in the galactic plane. It uses the right-handed convention, meaning that coordinates are positive toward the north and toward the east in the fundamental plane.

Marine Sextant Latitude - Longitude

Marine Sextant (youtube)

Octant (instrument) octant is a tool used to calculate Latitude at sea by measuring the angle between the sun and the horizon. It uses a small mirror to align the two celestial bodies together. The octant has an arc of 45° that measures angles of 90o.

Marine Chronometer is a timepiece that is precise and accurate enough to be used as a portable time standard; it can therefore be used to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation.
Marine Navigation (sailing)

Underwater Navigation (sound)

Why we see the same Stars? (star charts)

Star Position in the sky is defined by a pair of angles relative to the celestial equator: declination (d) and right ascension (a). While d is given in degrees (from +90° at the celestial north pole to -90° at the south pole), a is usually given in hours (0 ... 24h). This is due to the observation technique of star transits, which cross the field of view of telescope eyepieces because of Earth's rotation. The observation techniques are topics of positional astronomy and of astrogeodesy. Ideally the two-dimensional coordinate system a, d refers to an inertial frame of reference; the 3rd coordinate is the star distance, which is normally used as an attribute of the individual star. Star positions are changing in time, caused by precession and nutation – slow tilts of Earth's axis with rates of 50 arcseconds and 2 arcseconds respectively, per year; aberration and parallax – effects of Earth's orbit around the Sun; proper motion of the individual stars. The effects 1 and 2 are considered by so-called mean places of stars, contrary to their apparent places as seen from the moving Earth. Usually the mean places refer to a special epoch, e.g. 1950.0 or 2000.0. The 3rd effect has to be handled individually. The star positions a, d are compiled in several star catalogues of different volume and accuracy. Absolute and very precise coordinates of 1000-3000 stars are collected in Fundamental catalogues, starting with the FK (Berlin ~1890) up to the modern FK6. Relative coordinates of numerous stars are collected in catalogues like the Bonner Durchmusterung (Germany 1852-1862, 200.000 rough positions), the SAO catalogue (USA 1966, 250.000 astrometric stars) or the Hipparcos and Tycho catalogue (110.000 and 2 million stars by space astrometry). Space Travel

Right Ascension is the equatorial coordinate specifying the angle, measured eastward along the celestial equator, from the vernal equinox to the intersection of the hour circle that passes through an object in the sky; usually expressed in hours and minutes and seconds; used with declination to specify positions on the celestial sphere.

Declination is the angular distance of a celestial body north or to the south of the celestial equator; expressed in degrees; used with right ascension to specify positions on the celestial sphere.

A minute of arc, arcminute (arcmin), arc minute, or minute arc is a unit of angular measurement equal to 1/60th of one degree.

Distance is often specified in Astronomical Units (AU)--an AU is the
average distance from the Earth to the Sun = 149,597,870 kilometers (92,955,730 miles). For objects outside the solar system, the light year (ly) is often used. This is the distance light travels in a year, One light year is equal to 63,240 AU.

Astronomical Unit is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun. However, that distance varies as Earth orbits the Sun, from a maximum (aphelion) to a minimum (perihelion) and back again once a year. Originally conceived as the average of Earth's aphelion and perihelion, it is now defined as exactly 149597870700 metres (about 150 million kilometres, or 93 million miles). The astronomical unit is used primarily as a convenient yardstick for measuring distances within the Solar System or around other stars. However, it is also a fundamental component in the definition of another unit of astronomical length, the parsec. Astronomical System of Units is a system of measurement developed for use in astronomy.

Triangulation is the tracing and measurement of a series or network of triangles in order to determine the distances and relative positions of points spread over a territory or region, especially by measuring the length of one side of each triangle and deducing its angles and the length of the other two sides by observation from this baseline. In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is the process of determining the location of a point by forming triangles to it from known points.

Space Triangulation is a method of establishing geodetic relationships between points on the earth’s surface by simultaneous observations of the moon, high-altitude balloons with light sources, or artificial earth satellites from these points.

Protractor is a measuring instrument, typically made of transparent plastic or glass, for measuring angles. Most protractors measure angles in degrees (°). Radian-scale protractors measure angles in radians. Most protractors are divided into 180 equal parts. They are used for a variety of mechanical and engineering-related applications, but perhaps the most common use is in geometry lessons in schools. Some protractors are simple half-discs. More advanced protractors, such as the bevel protractor, have one or two swinging arms, which can be used to help measure the angle.

"Men take shortcuts, while women follow well-known routes."

The Thinker Man