PredictionX: Lost Without Longitude

  • 0.0
1 week long

Brief Introduction

Explore the history of navigation, from stars to satellites.

Course Summary

This course explores the history and impact of longitude on navigation and the world. You will learn about the challenges and solutions of determining longitude, and its effects on exploration, trade, and society.

Key Learning Points

  • Understand the importance of longitude in navigation and history
  • Learn about the challenges of determining longitude and the solutions developed
  • Explore the impact of longitude on exploration, trade, and society

Job Positions & Salaries of people who have taken this course might have

  • Marine Navigator
    • USA: $70,000 - $120,000
    • India: ₹5,00,000 - ₹15,00,000
    • Spain: €30,000 - €60,000
  • Historian
    • USA: $50,000 - $100,000
    • India: ₹3,00,000 - ₹10,00,000
    • Spain: €20,000 - €50,000
  • Geographer
    • USA: $50,000 - $100,000
    • India: ₹3,00,000 - ₹10,00,000
    • Spain: €20,000 - €50,000

Related Topics for further study

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the importance of longitude in navigation and history
  • Recognize the challenges of determining longitude and the solutions developed
  • Analyze the impact of longitude on exploration, trade, and society

Prerequisites or good to have knowledge before taking this course

  • Basic knowledge of history and geography
  • Interest in navigation and exploration

Course Difficulty Level


Course Format

  • Online
  • Self-paced

Similar Courses

  • The History of Navigation
  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

Related Education Paths

Notable People in This Field

  • Dava Sobel
  • John Harrison

Related Books


Course description

Humans have been navigating for ages. As we developed the tools and techniques for determining location and planning a route, navigation grew into a practice, an art, and a science. Navigational skill has long been tied to commercial, economic, and military success. However, the ability to predict when and where one will reach a distant destination is more than just a key to empire-building — it’s often a matter of life and death.

Using video, text, infographics, and Worldwide Telescope tours, we will explore the tools and techniques that navigators have used, with a particular focus on the importance (and difficulty) of measuring longitude. Grounded in the principles of position, direction, speed, and time, we will learn the challenges of navigating without a GPS signal. We’ll learn how the Age of Exploration and the economic forces of worldwide trade encouraged scientific progress in navigation; and how Jupiter’s moons, lunar eclipses, and clockmakers all played a part in orienting history’s navigators.

Centuries of progress in navigation have helped put humans on the moon and spacecraft on a comet. This course will explain how we got there, and how that progress enables you to get where you’re going today.


  • What you'll learn
  • What exactly navigation is and how it works
  • The importance of position, direction, and speed
  • The many navigational tools of the 18th century
  • How the motion of the sun and stars aids navigation
  • The historical context of navigation’s technical advances
  • The story of John Harrison and The Longitude Prize

Summary of User Reviews

Discover the fascinating history of navigation and learn how to navigate without GPS in PredictionX: Lost Without Longitude, a course offered by Harvard Online Learning. Students have praised the course for its engaging content and knowledgeable instructors, resulting in high overall ratings.

Pros from User Reviews

  • Instructors provide expert knowledge on the topic
  • Course materials are well-organized and easy to follow
  • Interactive assignments and quizzes help reinforce learning

Cons from User Reviews

  • Some users found the course to be too basic or simplistic
  • Technical difficulties with the online platform
  • Limited opportunities for interaction with other students


14th Jul, 2018
14th Jul, 2021
1 week long
Alyssa Goodman
Harvard University, Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Harvard University



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