Compass Course Navigation User Manual
The Compass Course Navigator App is a mobile-optimized website. It should work on most devices (tablets, iPads, iPhones, Android phones and tablets Windows phones, tablets and laptops, PCs, etc.) and from any modern web browser.
*Google Maps is a trademark of Google Inc. By using this software, you agree to the terms and conditions of Google Maps.
You obviously have to enable and allow your browser to access your location information. Browsers do this in a number of different ways, a GPS may not be required. However, a GPS is needed to provide good accuracy and near real-time location information.
The goal of this web application is to help students familiarize themselves with the skills needed to successfully navigate a compass course. Please do not use it to cheat, these skills are essential to have for many emergency services and other organizations. You will always be able to rely on a good map and a compass as they never run out of battery and are not affected by cloudy skies and satellite failure.
This web application is extremely flexible and can be used in many situations by enabling users to combine GPS locations and compass bearings on a Google map.
The user interface is very straightforward for anyone familiar with mobile applications.
The blue dot represented by
indicates your working location. It is referred to as the "working dot". The circle around the working dot represents the current accuracy of your location. It is green if your accuracy is 100m (33 ft) or better, otherwise it is red. If you are using GPS location, your position is very likely to actually be somewhere inside of that circle.
The menu on top of the screen contains the following options:
The compass course assumes that the student is given a list of compass headings and distances ahead of time, and then taken to the starting position.
You first need to use the Course option to setup a new compass course. On the "Course" screen, click on "Add" to add a new compass bearing and distance. The entries are sequential and should be entered in the correct order.
Select the correct Compass Heading and Distance with unit (Meters or Feet), and click on "Add". The new entry now appears in the table, but at this point nothing has been added to the map.
Continue adding waypoints until you have entered the entire course that you need to navigate.
To delete a single entry, click on the "X" in that row. Clicking on "Clear All" will delete all entries in the course.
Once you are done entering the waypoints, click on the "Back" button to get back to the map screen.
The number of paces are calculated based on the value set in "Preferences", please ensure that the correct value has been entered before creating the course. You can access this by clicking on "Settings", and then "Preferences".
Click on Preferences to set some defaults values such as the user's number of paces for 100 meters, as well as the local declination between the map North and the compass North.
The "Get Declination from NOAA" button will use your current location to get the current declination (rounded) from https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag-web/ . Please use any appropriate resource to ensure that the correct information is being used.
Click on Add a Heading and a Distance in either feet or meters. The order of these points is important and will be processed sequentially. Entries can be deleted individually but cannot be edited.
The Clear All option can be used to remove all entries from the table, and will also remove any points that may have been displayed on the map.
When the course has been entered, click on the Back button to return to the map.
From the Map screen, users can either select the GPS option in order to set the start point of the course to their current position (you of course need to allow the web application to access your GPS location in your smart device). Users can also drag and drop the blue working dot to the desired location.
Once the correct location has been set for the start of the course, click on the Draw button to draw the course on the map. Clicking on the Draw icon from a different position will again draw the points in the course form the new location.
Clicking on each green position marker will open an info window displaying the point's heading, distance in meters and feet, pace count and GPS coordinates.
The GPS button can also be used at any time during the course to move the red position marker to the user's location, and comparing the given location with the points in the course. If you get the following error, please ensure that location services are enabled on your device and that you have given this application permission to use that service.
The Map option can be used to change the type of the map being displayed (satellite, road, terrain or the default of hybrid).
The Clear Map option can be used to remove all of the course's green position markers from the map.
The course entries are not saved, refreshing the browser will return to a clean map.