Pros And Cons Of Dead Reckoning

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Prior to the very famous GPS, or Global Positioning System, voyagers used a technique called Dead Reckoning. Dead reckoning was used for centuries by sailors, to determine the position of their ship in the ocean. They were able to determine their location based upon the ship’s prior positions by paying close attention to the speed and direction of the ship. To determine the direction of the course, a compass was used. While the speed was calculated by the use of a log and a line. A log was essentially a tool for tracking time. Sandglasses or hourglasses were originally used and later on, clocks or watches began being put to use. The speed of the vessel after one hour passed was equivalent to the length of line which was finished in 28 seconds. The future course could then be determined using mathematical equations or by hand drawn…show more content…
Dead reckoning was precise but not precise enough. Many mistakes were made sometimes because of errors made in the predictions of the previous positions and by ignoring factors such as wind and water current. This is why the Global Positioning System is more reliable than the process of dead reckoning. While each have their pros and cons, the GPS was faster, required less thinking, reduced the possibility of getting lost, and made travelling easier. However, the GPS could have a malfunction, which is very common with any piece of technology. Some of the pros of the process of dead reckoning is that if done with extreme detail, taking all variables into consideration, it is extremely reliable and there is no worry for a technological malfunction. Dead reckoning was also really time consuming, required extensive thought process, and put sailors more at risk to get

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