The magnetic compass was an important advance in navigation because it allowed mariners to determine their direction even if clouds obscured their usual astronomical cues such as the North Star. It uses a magnetic needle that can turn freely so that it always points to the north pole of the Earth’s magnetic field.Click to see full answer. Besides, how is the compass used today?The compass is used for navigation, location and direction. People use it to find their way, whether it is on a hiking trail or on a trip to a new location. It is an instrument composed of a suspended magnetic pointer that is attracted to the polarity of the North Pole.Beside above, when was the compass invented? The magnetic compass was first invented as a device for divination as early as the Chinese Han Dynasty and Tang Dynasty (since about 206 BC). The compass was used in Song Dynasty China by the military for navigational orienteering by 1040–44, and was used for maritime navigation by 1111 to 1117. Considering this, what impact did the compass have on the world? With such tools as a compass, travelers could go around the world, exploring places that were unknown to their cultures. Before the invention of the compass, there was no way to determine your location in the open ocean, making the oceans black voids on the crude inconsistent maps of the time.How did the compass spread?The Chinese invented the compass about 100 A.D. But news of the compass did not spread to the rest of the world. Early compasses were just pieces of magnetic iron floating on straw or cork in a bowl of water. By the 1400s, sailors were using a magnetic needle for the compass.