The challenge of marine positioning



Studying geodesy and the making of maps and charts, learning the engineering of land and hydrographic surveying, and mastering the art of navigating over vast oceans have been our oldest quests. Most of our efforts have been concentrated on accurate positioning on land, and when we did extend seaward, our main efforts were confined to surface positions over oceans for navigation or to locate assets in shallow waters.

In maritime countries concerned with navigation over oceans, efforts were expanded to make nautical charts, especially beyond their shorelines. The most important challenge was to sail accurately, efficiently, and in the correct direction over long distances across known and unknown oceans.