Measuring Latitude and Longitude

There will be a grid of latitude and longitude superimposed on the chart. This grid will be in degrees and minutes, as appropriate to the scale of the chart. To obtain the latitude and longitude of any point, we need to compare the position of this point with the grid. Several different tools may be used to do this, and navigators have their own preference.

Using dividers is the only correct method where the meridians are not parallel, such as on a conical projection. However, on such charts the errors using a parallel rule or course plotter will be very small unless the chart's scale is small. If the meridians look parallel, then the error will be too small to be significant for normal navigation.

We'll look at how we would measure the latitude and longitude of a special mark (buoy) near Sydney, Australia, whose position is 34° 06.548'S, 151° 24.962'E.

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