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    Re: ebay: Navigation School Workbook 1886
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 Mar 24, 00:48 EST

    Willem, you wrote:
    "do you mean that there  has been a move back to using diagrams after all
    these tables were  available?"
    
    Well, any navigator who learned celestial after the Second  World War (and
    many before, too) almost certainly learned to cross two lines of  position on a
    chart to get a fix. This sort of thing is what they used to call a  "method by
    projection". The navigator is basically drawing a diagram of his
    observations and then reading off the fix from that diagram. The quotation that  I was
    commenting on suggested that "seamen have *always* detested calculations  with
    pencil and paper, preferring to use  diagrammatic means" and that's
    unhistorical. Yes, in modern celestial there is a very graphic procedure for  plotting
    lines of position and reading off the position, but 19th century  navigators
    and navigation experts did not like these "diagramatic" techniques  and prefered
    solutions with calculations. Of course, this was merely the bias of  that
    era, and, as you mentioned, diagrams were much more popular in earlier
    centuries. The 19th century bias in favor of numerical calculation and against
    "methods by projection" seems to be one of several factors that greatly slowed  the
    adoption of Sumner's method in practical navigation.
    
    -FER
    42.0N  87.7W, or 41.4N 72.1W.
    www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars
    
    
    

       
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