Marine Navigation


First record of large boats being used to carry food and other goods.

3500 BC

Phoenician sailors accomplished navigation of the Mediterranean and Red sea by staying close to shore and navigated by the sight of landmarks. When they did venture out of sight of land they navigated

2000 BC

In Egypt, coastal navigators used the sounding reed in shallow water areas, as well as a wind rose. This is a device which shows the relative frequency of wind direction in a particular place. The sun

1500 BC

The mariner's compass, an early form of the magnetic compass, was invented and was one of the earliest human made navigation tools. Mariners used the compass when the Sun was not visible to help ident

206 BC

First map of earth

200 BC

The Icelandic Spar was discovered in a shipwreck in 1592. Chemical analysis traced the stone back to Iceland, and confirmed it as an Icelandic Spar. The Icelandic Spar is thought to have been the fabl


an english mathematician, John Hadley and Thomas Jeffery invented the sextant, for people aboard ships, this device provided more accurate means of determining the angle between the horizon and the su


John harrison invented the seagoing chronometer, This invention was the most important advance to marine navigation in the three millennia that open-ocean mariners had been going to sea.


British naval officer and explorer Captain James Cook (1728–1779) used Harrison's chronometer to circumnavigate the globe. When he returned, his calculations of longitude based on the chronometer prov


By international agreement, the Prime Meridian (located at 0° longitude) was established as the meridian passing through Greenwich, England.


The first radio was created in Italy. Radios are used aboard ships to communicate over long-distance.


The first radar was invented so ships could locate objects and land beyond their range of vision.


The first Long Range navigation system was developed so a ship's position could be located by radio pulses from land.

1940 - 1943

GPS was created when 22 satellites were built specifically with the intention of sending position and coordinate data to ships at sea as well as aircraft. These satellites have been replaced since, as


The U.S. Department of Defense developed the system, which originally used 24 satellites. It was initially developed for use by the United States military and became fully operational in 1995. It was