People were finding their way across long distances for thousands of years before maps and GPS. How did they do it?
The Lost Art of Finding Our Way - This video by John Huth provides a brief overview of finding direction before GPS. If you find that short overview interesting, here's his longer presentation on specific examples of ancient way-finding techniques.
How Did Polynesian Wayfinders Navigate the Pacific Ocean? - Imagine setting sail in a sea-going canoe. Your target is a small island thousands of kilometers away in the middle of the Pacific Ocean...How does that work?
Secrets of Ancient Navigators - Seafarers in many cultures found their way across vast distances using a variety of ingenious methods.
Indigenous Navigation and Settlement of the Ancient Pacific - When humans had migrated to most of the habitable lands on foot, and the islands of the Pacific remained. Polynesian navigation took care of the rest.
Lost or Found? A Stick Chart From the Marshall Islands - Taken together, these bamboo sticks and cowrie shells constitute a navigational map of the Marshall Islands region.
Pacific Seafaring Heritage - Reclaiming Moana, an indigenous Oceanian word for the Pacific Ocean.
Inuit Wayfinding - The wayfinding kit for the Arctic regions included landmarks and stories about them; knowledge of currents, surf, constellations, migrating birds, whales, and caribou; weather and types of snow.