Definition of Navigation Terms


The term ‘Waypoint’ is quite traditional and derives from the aviation and marine industries where it refers to a ‘series of points along a route’.  The same definition applies in GPS navigation and in traditional route preparation.

Wiltshire Walks uses two types of Waypoint - Invisible and Visible.  Invisible Waypoints are used to help define a Route onto a Map allowing bends and curves.  These can also be programmed into a Handheld GPS allowing the walker to follow the ‘real’ route on the ground.  Visible Waypoints can be anything along a route - e.g., an intersection of tracks, a gate or stile, a natural feature, a ‘Point of Interest’ , a viewpoint or vantage point, a sharp bend, etc.

Visible Waypoints are shown on all our Maps and Routecards and often divide a Route into segments or legs.


Routes are a series of Waypoints that make-up an exact route, or segment of a route.  In general preparation work a Route is the course that is desired.


In modern navigation terms, a Track consists of Waypoints that have been taken during a journey.  If perfect, then a Track could be deemed a Route.  However, this is rarely the case as most exploratory journeys will contain mistakes, back-tracks, and perhaps intentional meanderings.

Tracks are often used in conjunction with map-derived Waypoints to make a new set of Waypoints to produce a desired Route.