Navigation: A Very Short Introduction
From the Bronze Age mariners of the Mediterranean to contemporary sailors using satellite-based technologies, the history of navigation at sea, the art of finding a position and setting a course, is fascinating. The scientific and technological developments that have enabled accuratemeasurements of position were central to exploration, trade, and the opening up of new continents, and the resulting journeys taken under their influence have had a profound influence on world history. In this Very Short Introduction Jim Bennett looks at the history of navigation, starting with the distinctive cultures of navigation that are defined geographically - the Mediterranean Sea, and the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. He shows how the adoption of mathematical methods, the use ofinstruments, the writing of textbooks and the publication of charts all combined to create a more standardised practice. Methods such as longitude-finding by chronometer and lunar distance were complemented by the routine business of recording courses and reckoning position "by account". Bennettalso introduces the incredible array of instruments relied on by sailors, from astrolabes, sextants, and chronometers, to our more modern radio receivers, electronic equipment, and charts, and highlights the crucial role played by the individual qualities of endeavour and resourcefulness frommathematicians, scientists, and seamen in finding their way at sea. The story of navigation combines the societal, the technical, and the human, and it was vital for shaping the modern world.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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19th century adjustment angle angular distance applied Arab astrolabe astronomical backstaff bearing became Board body calculation celestial Equator celestial Pole celestial sphere centre Chinese chronometer method circle coast compass rose constellations course cross-staff David dead reckoning direction Earth east or west English example finding latitude finding longitude followed global Gunter HISTORY horizon vane hydrographic Indian Ocean indicate instrument for measuring involved John known latitude lunar distances magnetic compass magnetic needle marine Marine chronometer mariner’s astrolabe maritime Maskelyne mathematician Mediterranean Mercator chart Mercator sailing meridian Michael nautical navigational cultures navigational practice navigational techniques noon observation observer’s latitude octant parallel Peter pivot plane Polaris Pole Star portolan chart Portuguese position line procedures radio refer rhumb lines sailors satellites scale sea chart seamen sextant ship ship’s sight standard Sun’s survived timekeeper transom triangle Ursa Minor vessel voyage watch wind zenith