The introduction of the compass forever changes how we navigate around the world. Before the initiation of the compass, the geographical locations and the direction at sea were entirely determined using landmarks. The landmarks were complemented with the citing of the position of the celestial bodies. Besides the use of landmarks and celestial bodies, other methods might have been used by the Vikings to determine the elevation and direction of the sun from the act of daylight undergoing polarization. The Vikings might have used cordierite and birefringent crystal. Therefore, the discovery of the compass enabled the easy determination of the heading especially during the times when the sky was foggy and also when land markers could not be sighted.
The engineers intensified their research on magnetism by carrying out experiments of mounting the compass needle and placing them at the central point of the card which displayed the cardinal directions. These directions are north, south, east, and west. Later on, a discrepancy in the accuracy of the compass readings arose because of the variation of the true north and the magnetic north. The variations were identified to be more significant in the regions closer to the North and South poles. Therefore, the engineers designed the magnetic compass with the ability to adjust it to account for the variations brought about by the changes in latitudes
The breakthrough of the invention of the compass made a significant change in the people’s lives in the manner in which they navigate direction in the sea. The compass made navigation easier because there was no more use of landmarks and celestial bodies whose sighting was problematic in foggy weather. Therefore, there was an increase in the safety of the seafarers and the volumes of sea trades. However, there was a drawback of the discrepancies brought about by variations in the magnetic and geographic norths which reduces the accuracy of the compass.
The creation of the magnetic compass paved the way for the invention of the satellites and GPS. These are modern forms of locating the positions just like what the ancient mariners did with the magnetic compass. The current satellites and GPS increased the accuracy and navigability of the sailors and the pilots in the transportation sector. The contemporary navigation tools are much more sophisticated as they not only show direction but also record the positions of given locations regarding coordinates and height above sea level.