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Fig 18 Variation is the difference between true and magnetic north: deviation is the difference between magnetic and compass north. be used to find the appropriate figure for deviation. Measuring direction on the chart Direction is indicated in two ways: by the grid of intersecting north–south meridians at east–west parallels; and by compass roses each with a graduated ring of 360 marks at 1° intervals. Some, though not all, have a second, inner ring, slightly skewed from the outer ring, showing directions relative to magnetic north (see page 24).

It may be designed from the outset as a chart plotter; it may be combined with some other equipment such as a radar or autopilot; or it may be a desktop or laptop PC or even a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). The cartography refers to the electronic charts. They are available from various sources, in different formats and on different media, such as CD-ROMs, floppy discs, PCMCIA cards, flash memory cards, or custom-made cartridges of various shapes and sizes. The software is the link between the two, converting the electronic cartography into a form which can be displayed on the screen, enabling us to carry out navigational tasks, and communicating with other electronic equipment such as a GPS receiver and autopilot.

Traditional parallel rulers Traditional parallel rulers consist of two straight rulers, joined together by pivoting arms which allow the rulers to be moved apart while keeping their edges parallel, so that they can be ‘walked’ across the chart while preserving their alignment. Using them quickly and accurately takes practice and demands a flat unobstructed chart table but they are still the preferred choice of many experienced navigators. Rolling parallel rulers A rolling parallel ruler is a single wide ruler fitted with a pair of rollers fixed to a single shaft.

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