A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2015 Feb 27, 16:45 -0800
Regarding Breed's graphical method, Robin Stuart wrote up a review of it for NavList back in June of 2010: read it here. There are no miracles with methods like these --except maybe that they get published. It's what I call a "stupid human trick". It's amazing that we can convince people to do these things, but this graphical construction offers no practical advantage at all and buries the underlying concept behind a wall of drawing procedures. You have to have a fantastic imagination to come up with a scenario in a life of navigation where they would actually use it successfully. Buy an orange or a rubber ball or a cheap globe of the Earth, and use what you already know: plot the circles and cross them. End of story. And even that will almost never come up in practice since a navigator is never so thoroughly lost, though it is useful for teaching purposes. Having thrashed it on practicality, there's something charming, of course, about drawing funny shapes on paper and getting marginally useful results out of them. I suppose the charm is what draws people back to these odd "construction" methods. It's like making an origami swan, except the swan gets up and quacks like a duck at the end.