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    Re: Lat/Lon by "Noon Sun" & The Noon Fix PROVE IT
    From: Brad Morris
    Date: 2009 Apr 29, 14:30 -0400

    Hi Jim
    I offer that the observer could simply just take data points every 5 minutes 
    and let the computer fit the curve.  Dave Walden did just that and the curve 
    fit eliminates the requirement that we be centered around LAN  or that the 
    data be in some particular format.  Dave used a least squares fit, one form 
    of regression analysis.  There are other forms of regression analysis, least 
    squares is just one.
    When we perform curve fits, iterative analysis or any other mathematics which 
    would require a computer, simply due to the great quantity of computation, we 
    make the navigational method more black box.  Witness Jeremy's use of the 25 
    observations in the rapid fire fix method we have been discussing.  Jeremy, 
    through no fault of his own, is limited to what is exposed to the user (him). 
     Without a lot of digging, the internals are hidden.  That's a black box. In 
    this case, your form of regression analysis is hidden to you.  It may be a 
    least squares fit, it may be something else. That's black box.
    The most extreme example of this is the GPS.  We look at it and it tells us 
    our position.  That's black box.
    Re-examine that in light of the method you offer.  The method offers up a 
    determination of the latitude and longitude from a noon (rapid fire) series 
    of sights. If your method requires a computer and complicated regression 
    analysis, why not just use the GPS?  Clearly, based upon comments from 
    others, this type of fix predates computers, so it should be possible to 
    manually determine.  The improvement you offer has to do with the structuring 
    of the data and fairing straight lines, an easy day compared to a curve fit.
    I don't expect that the method will provide the same statistical level of 
    accuracy of a least squares curve fit.  It's nonsense to believe otherwise, 
    as each observer put his personal spin on the line fairing.  We expect them 
    to be "in the ballpark" and "about right", not perfect.  Give your method a 
    fair twirl!
    Best Regards
    -----Original Message-----
    From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of James N Wilson
    Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 11:56 AM
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Subject: [NavList 8101] Re: Lat/Lon by "Noon Sun" & The Noon Fix PROVE IT
    I'm sure that least squares is better, but I used regression analysis
    because that was what I had. I'm a complete novice at this mathematical
    curve fitting. I was grasping at straws to avoid asking for more data
    points. I've looked at a good many student sight plots, and they are
    almost uniformly on a straight line. But they are taken with a sharp
    horizon. I suspect that a hazy horizon would yield the kind of data that
    George generated.
    Being curious, I immediately tried this new toy on my ancient data
    example. It placed the ascending line in exactly the same place that I
    had eyeballed it, and had only a slight difference in the descending
    line. The net result was a slight improvement in accuracy. In eyeballing
    sights, I tend to throw out ones quite a ways from the trend, whereas any
    curve fitting algorithm will use them all.
    In looking at the final results, sights taken in runs centered around LAN
    would be more utile than ones taken around highest altitude. That would
    eliminate the extrapolation. But, as George points out, the observer
    doesn't know when LAN is yet. More sights could be taken, so that the
    latter ones would avoid extending the data lines outside of the range
    I think that I still have a lot to learn.
    Jim Wilson
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