Loxodromic navigation

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Rhumb line navigation path: β = constant

Loxodromic navigation (from Greek λοξóς, oblique, and δρóμος, path) is a method of navigation by following a rhumb line, a curve on the surface of the Earth that follows the same angle at the intersection with each meridian. This serves to maintain a steady course in sailing.[1]

Navigating on a spherical surface with a fixed course ( in the figure) results in a spiral path that approaches the North Pole for courses ranging from 270º to 090º and the South Pole for courses from 090º to 270º. On a nautical chart plotted according to the Mercator projection, a loxodromic course appears as a straight line.

Comparison Chart[edit]

Comparison of orthodromic course (white) compared with a loxodromic course (red) in a map using Mercator projection.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Adam Weintrit; Tomasz Neumann (7 June 2011). Methods and Algorithms in Navigation: Marine Navigation and Safety of Sea Transportation. CRC Press. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-0-415-69114-7.

External links[edit]