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    Re: Bearings, Courses, Headings, and Tracks
    From: Trevor Kenchington
    Date: 2002 Feb 5, 20:50 -0400

    Dan Allen wrote:
    > Here are my own definitions that I use to keep things straight in my
    > mind, and they correspond to Garmin GPS labels as well! ;-)
    > The **course** is the direction you want to go from postion A to B.
    > One is rarely on this line, especially in a car.  It is the theoretical
    > "as the crow flies" path, with a constant compass heading.
    That is the direction of the track, as the term is defined for
    navigational purposes, at least in North America.
    > The **bearing** is where B is with respect to your current position.
    > It has nothing to do with A.  It has everything to do with answering
    > the question "which way do I need to go right now in order to get to B"?
    A bearing can also be to any point C that is not your destination, nor
    your point of departure. Bearings stand apart from the
    heading/course/track/course made good group of concepts.
    > The **track** is the current compass direction you are heading.  The
    > track has nothing to do with where A or B is with respect to you.  It
    > is only about what direction you are currently going.
    That is the heading or ship's head. It isn't something that any GPS can
    display but must be read from the steering compass.
    Trevor Kenchington
    Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         Gadus@iStar.ca
    Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
    R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
    Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555
                        Science Serving the Fisheries

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