Before the arrival of inexpensive GPS receivers the fundamental tool for the topographer was a device with a north seeking arrow – a compass!

Compasses came in a wide variety of form factors, from simple button compasses that could be attached to things like watch bands to highly precise surveying compasses capable of accuracies of half a degree.

On this page we’ll provide links to information and collections that highlight the amazing variety of the magnetic compasses and the ways they were used.

My Compass Collection – if you spend any time as a topographer, or if you spend serious time in the outdoors, you tend to accumulate compasses of various designs. This album highlights almost 30 years of accumulation, with some recent focused collection activity.

Collecting Military Compasses – One Brit’s very interesting foray into the world of military compasses. Comprehensive and very well done!

The Compass Museum – A staggeringly comprehensive collection of just about every compass type and manufacturer. One of the best compass sites on the web

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