Land Navigation Class and Course Information

Land navigation classes are usually found as part of the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs, but some undergraduate degree programs also offer land navigation courses. Read on to learn more.

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Essential Information

Related courses in orienteering, map reading and global positioning systems (GPS) can also sometimes be found as part of a degree or certificate program in orienteering, outdoor studies or forestry. Some independent courses in map reading or outdoor adventure also offer units related to land navigation.

Here is an outline of common concepts taught in land navigation courses:

  • Landscape recognition
  • Scouting for survival
  • Compass navigation
  • Wilderness exploration
  • Geographical skills
  • Latitude and longitude
  • Professional jargon
  • Navigation technology

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  • Cartography
  • Geography

List of Courses

ROTC Land Navigation Course

An ROTC land navigation course is part of a college program for individuals training to be officers (active, reserve or National Guard) in the U.S. military. This course covers daytime, nighttime and urban navigation. Navigation, map reading, orienteering and dead reckoning skills are developed through this course. Most courses provide students with training activities where specific points in a site must be scouted out and located. This training course is a stand-alone course and may come at any point in the ROTC training program.

Orienteering Course

Orienteering is a sport where individuals must find specified points by using a map and compass. Most courses involve field training where students must display their skills in orienteering, such as reading topographical maps, employing navigational tactics and operating a compass. Students have to navigate through various and often rugged types of terrain, such as snow-covered ground or wilderness or mountainous areas. An orienteering course is usually a stand-alone course that is taken to perfect skills and gain experience in the sport.

Map Reading Course

Concepts learned in this course include proximity, direction, region, density, latitude and longitude. Students may construct maps and learn about using computer mapping programs. Types of maps studied in this course include environmental, demographic, neighborhood and campus. This course is usually an introductory class near the beginning of a degree program in geography or geology.

Global Positioning Systems Course

GPS devices are becoming more prominent in land navigation operations. In a GPS course, operation, use and general knowledge of GPS devices is covered. Students learn terminology, technical aspects and basic map reading in relation to GPS technology. Different GPS devices may be used in the course. This course is often found at community colleges as a continuing education offering, as well as in navigation-related degree and certificate programs.

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