NGA Releases 2020 Update to the World Magnetic Model

If you use GPS or have ever flown on a plane, you've relied on data from the WMM.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British Geological Survey has released their 2020 update to the World Magnetic Model.

While you may not know it by name, you probably benefit from the WMM every day since it's part of what helps your phone know exactly where you are (or where your phone is when you've lost it). But the WMM has even bigger implications for navigation in challenging parts of the globe.

WMM is the standard model used by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.K. Ministry of Defence, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the International Hydrographic Organization, for navigation, attitude and heading referencing systems using the geomagnetic field. It is also used widely in civilian navigation and heading systems.

That means that ships, planes, submarines and more all rely on its accurate measurements for safe passage in areas where traditional compasses become unreliable, which is a bigger problem than you might think.

You can read all about the new WMM release at

Or download the full World Magnetic Model 2020 dataset at: