Compass and Gps

Topics: Navigation, Global Positioning System, Global navigation satellite system Pages: 2 (625 words) Published: May 18, 2013
Compass vs. GPS

Compass and GPS are navigation devices. The term navigation refers to the process of planning, reading, and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. Apart from the similarity, there are several differences between compass and GPS, which are the history and function. The first difference is history of a compass and GPS. The compass was first invented in China during the Qin dynasty 221-206 B.C. by Chinese fortunetellers (The compass, 2008). The first compass was made from lodestones, which is a piece of the mineral magnetite that has the same property as a magnet. The evidence suggested that compass first appeared in Europe in 1190. Some people have assumed that compass could have been imported into Europe from China, but there is no evidence to support the theory (History, n.d.). The first compass was simply a magnetized needle floating in water. Later on, the compass was used in navigation for seamanship and making of maps. In contrast, the design of GPS is based partly on the similar ground-based radio navigation systems. It was developed in the early twentieth century, and used during World War II when the Russia sent the Sputnik into the space in 1957 (A brief history, 2004). GPS was originally used as a military positioning, navigation, and weapons aiming system to replace not only Transit, but other navigation systems as well. The first satellite navigation system, used by the United States Navy, was successfully tested in 1960 using five satellites. In 1978, the United States Department of Defense finally operated the first modern GPS, when the system was effectively functioned with 24 satellites. The second difference between the two devices is the function. First, a compass is a device with its needle always pointing to the direction of north. Before GPS and other high tech navigational gadgets were invented, compasses were used to guide directions. A compass contains a lightweight needle that...
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