Navigation, Sea

Sea navigation is the processes maritime vessels use to determine their location in order to move to a certain destination. To determine their location, mariners use a variety of techniques, including dead reckoning, pilotage, celestial, radio, radar, and satellite, also known as Global Positioning System. These techniques employ basic navigation skills and tools such as latitude, longitude, bearing, distance to objects, and fixes. Sea navigation has an ancient history but has been brought into the 21st century with modern techniques, while still preserving the methods of the past, as discussed in this entry.


Modern sea navigation traces its origins to the ancient sailors of the Mediterranean Sea. Early navigators would stay within sight of the coast, using the land as a reference to their location. They ...

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