Navigation in the Age of Robinson Crusoe

Jamie Bolker

Illustration from the ciphering book of Stephen Jenkins, 1823. Photo courtesy of the author.

As NPR reported in February, the US Navy wants to bring back the practice of celestial navigation, the antiquated art relying on complex calculations that has been handily replaced by GPS technology.  Since electronically assisted navigation over land and sea (and space) has become the norm, it is easy to forget how difficult traveling from point A to B was in centuries past. Read more