Magnetic North Pole

Compass laying on SARBC jacket

Magnetic North Pole

Journey to the Top (or the Relocated Dip)

Ray Talson, Search & Rescue Society of BC

The North Magnetic Pole – of interest to navigators for centuries – but no one knew exactly where it was.

A study was done by the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Geological survey of Canada, Geophysics Division, to determine the exact location of the North Magnetic Dip Pole (NMDP). This is the location where the north seeking end of the compass needle wants to point straight into the ground. The study was published by the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 23, 1986. The study was authored by L.R. Newitt and E.R. Niblett. This review is based on pages 1062 through 1067 of that study. Continue reading “Magnetic North Pole”

Understanding and Using a Map

Victoria and Area Map

Understanding & Using a Map

Ray Talson, Search & Rescue Society of BC

The idea of “map” is apparently a fundamental concept. The term is often used, literally and symbolically, without explanation, suggesting that “map” is so well understood that no definition is needed. This is a delusion.

When analyzed, a map is seen to be a complex representation for area or a refined method for communicating knowledge about an unforgiving environment. Because maps are fundamentally different from other forms of communication, they must be specially perceived, and singular assumptions are a necessary basis for their creation.

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Understanding and Using a Compass

Compass laying on SARBC jacket

Understanding & Using a Compass

Ray Talson,  Search & Rescue Society of BC

Half of an effective navigation system is the map, the other half is the compass. A compass is basically just a magnetized needle that, when allowed to move freely, points in one direction, and that is Magnetic North. This needle gives you a reference point for measuring all other directions.

All compasses do essentially the same thing, but more expensive models offer more features that make them easier to use. One convenient feature is a liquid filled capsule that slows the needle down. A compass with a rectangular base is easier to use with a map than a round compass. Compasses with features such as rotating dials, built in declination settings, and direction of travel arrows simplify compass use. Get the best you can afford.

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