Land Navigation and Map Reading Training

Soldier conducting land nav training with a map and compass 


Land Navigation Equipment and Methods

A map is a graphic representation of a portion of the earth's surface drawn to scale, as seen from above. It uses colors, symbols, and labels to represent features found on the ground. The ideal representation would be realized if every feature of the area being mapped could be shown in true shape. Obviously this is impossible, and an attempt to plot each feature true to scale would result in a product impossible to read even with the aid of a magnifying glass.

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The map of choice for land navigators is the 1:50,000-scale military topographic map. It is important, however, that you know how to use the many other products available from the DMA as well. When operating in foreign places, you may discover that DMA map products have not yet been produced to cover your particular area of operations, or they may not be available to your unit when you require them. Therefore, you must be prepared to use maps produced by foreign governments that may or may not meet the standards for accuracy set by DMA. These maps often use symbols that resemble those found on DMA maps but which have completely different meanings. There may be other times when you must operate with the only map you can obtain. This might be a commercially produced map run off on a copy machine at higher headquarters.

Through a special agreement with http://landnavigation.org/, we make the following files available:


  • PowerPoint

    Files 

    Title

    Topics

    8MB

    PPT

    Lensatic Compass

    The parts and features, and how to sight a selected landmark with the lensatic compass using the Compass-to-Cheek or the Center-hold method.    

    9MB

    PPT

    Map Margin

    What the data in the map's margin represents, map care and how to properly fold a map.

    4MB

    PPT

    Map Scale

    Maps come in three scale sizes; SMALL, MEDIUM, and LARGE.  Which affects the amount of area covered and detail that will be shown.

    5MB

    PPT

    Map Symbols

    Map language that is simple to understand.  BUT you must first know what the symbols represent, in order to read and speak map language to others.

    5MB

    PPT

    Terrain Relief

    Relief shows elevation; it indicates variations in terrain features and heights of natural features.

    10MB

    PPT

    Map Information

    What the protractor is for.  Map is read for four basic kinds of information; direction, distance, position, and identification.

    9MB

    PPT

    Sense of Direction 

    Lateral drift, current bearing, obstacles, back azimuth, deliberate offset. 

    4MB

  • PPT

  • Resection

    With map only.  Modified resection with map or compass.

    5MB

  • PPT

  • Intersection

  • Triangulation

  • Two methods to locate your position with compass bearings.

    10MB

  • PPT

  • Make Map Speak

  • Compass Language

  • There is no need to orient the map to find your position. 

    5MB

  • PPT

  • Plotting Position Coordinates

    This is good to use when navigators have the same maps and need to communicate their location to others using coordinates.

    3MB

  • PPT

  • Route Measure

    Map straight-line distance, map curvature distance, and map slope distance.

    3MB

  • PPT

  • Pace Count

    How to pace count with Ranger Pacing Beads.  Estimating rate of SPEED is essential when calculating the amount of time it will take to traverse a route. 

    4MB

  • PPT

  • Travel Distance

  • Estimation

  • Estimation by 100 Meter rule, estimation by Rule-of-Thumb, estimation by Time.

    7MB

    PPT

    Plan to Navigate

    Group or alone, equipment, safety, responsibilities, study map terrain, route selection.

    7MB

    PPT

    Stay on Course

    Advance reference points and advance baselines, Thumb-the-Map.

    8MB

    PPT

    Additional

  • Navigation Skills

  • Estimating daylight left, conserving energy, prevent blisters, weather insight, and estimating distance with the Lensatic Compass Mils (Technique 1 and Technique 2), and drawing your own map.

    6MB

    PPT

    Navigating

  • Different Terrain

  • Special environments; terrains that can be featureless, rough, dense, unpredictable footing, and unpredictable weather or visibility.

    5MB

    PPT

     Night Navigation

    Night adaptation, protecting night vision, Lensatic Compass night navigating. 

    5MB

    PPT

    Sustainment

    Sustainment program, Train-the-Trainer, set up a Land Navigation course.




 

The purpose of a map is to permit one to visualize an area of the earth's surface with pertinent features properly positioned. The map's legend contains the symbols most commonly used in a particular series or on that specific topographic map sheet. Therefore, the legend should be referred to each time a new map is used. Every effort is made to design standard symbols that resemble the features they represent. If this is not possible, symbols are selected that logically imply the features they portray. For example, an open-pit mining operation is represented by a small black drawing of a crossed hammer and pickax.

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