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Answered 2008-05-07 20:56:18

In navigation, there are two primary types of course lines that can be plotted, a great circle and a rhumb line. The great circle provides the shortest distance between any two points on the globe, but requires that the course (and headings) be continuously adjusted. A rhumb line results in a longer distance to travel, but allows for a constant course (or heading) to be maintained. By definition, a rhumb line (also known as a loxodrome) crosses all meridians at the same angle.

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