Features April 2016 Issue

In the Perfect Position to Fail

Why do precisely plotted satellite positions keep leading us astray?

For centuries, navigators have been coping with two key variables that convey major consequence. The first is the quest for an accurate position fix, and the second is the hope that the chart they’re using is an accurate representation of their surroundings. Up until a couple of decades ago, cartographers were winning out and chart accuracy trumped sextant-derived fix accuracy. The tide has turned.

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