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Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another.[1] The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navigation, marine navigation, aeronautic navigation, and space navigation.[2]

It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks. All navigational techniques involve locating the navigator's position compared to known locations or patterns.

Navigation, in a broader sense, can refer to any skill or study that involves the determination of position and direction.[2] In this sense, navigation includes orienteering and pedestrian navigation.[2]

Navigation for cars and other land-based travel typically uses maps, landmarks, and in recent times computer navigation ("satnav", short for satellite navigation), as well as any means available on water.

Computerized navigation commonly relies on GPS for current location information, a navigational map database of roads and navigable routes, and uses algorithms related to the maps, landmarks, and in recent times computer navigation ("satnav", short for satellite navigation), as well as any means available on water.

Computerized navigation commonly relies on GPS for current location information, a navigational map database of roads and navigable routes, and uses algorithms related to the shortest path problem to identify optimal rout

Computerized navigation commonly relies on GPS for current location information, a navigational map database of roads and navigable routes, and uses algorithms related to the shortest path problem to identify optimal routes.

Professional standards for navigation depend on the type of navigation and vary by country. For marine navigation, Merchant Navy deck officers are trained and internationally certified according to the STCW Convention.[38] Leisure and amateur mariners may undertake lessons in navigation at local/regional training schools. Naval officers receive navigation training as part of their naval training.

In land navigation, courses and training is often provided to young persons as part of general or extra-curricular education. Land navigation is also an essential part of army training. Additionally, organisations such as the Scouts and DoE programme teach navigation to their students. Orienteering organisations are a type of sports that require navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain whilst moving at speed.[39]

In aviation, pilots undertake air navigation training as part of learning to fly.

Professional organisations also assist to encourage improvements in navigation or bring together navigators in le

In land navigation, courses and training is often provided to young persons as part of general or extra-curricular education. Land navigation is also an essential part of army training. Additionally, organisations such as the Scouts and DoE programme teach navigation to their students. Orienteering organisations are a type of sports that require navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain whilst moving at speed.[39]

In aviation, pilots undertake air navigation training as part of learning to fly.

Professional organisations also assist to encourage improvements in navigation or bring together navigators in learned environments. The Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) is a learned society with charitable status, aimed at furthering the development of navigation on land and sea, in the air and in space. It was founded in 1947 as a forum for mariners, pilots, engineers and academics to compare their experiences and exchange information.[40] In the US, the Institute of Navigation (ION) is a non-profit professional organisation advancing the art and science of positioning, navigation and timing.[41]

Numerous nautical publications are available on navigation, which are published by professional sources all over the world. In the UK, the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, the Witherby Publishing Group and the Nautical Institute provide numerous navigational publications, including the comprehensive Admiralty Manual of Navigation.[42][43]

In the US, Bowditch's American Practical Navigator is a free available encyclopedia of navigation issued by the US Government.Bowditch's American Practical Navigator is a free available encyclopedia of navigation issued by the US Government.[44]