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Giving Directions

The CXC syllabus requires students to learn to give directions in terms of the sixteen points of the compass (shown below).

Compass Rose (By Seamus Mc Gill)

In the diagram above, wherever they appear, N represents north, S represents south, E represents east and W represents west. Therefore, SE indicates southeast, NNE represents north-northeast and so on. You must learn these sixteen points by heart.

Giving Directions

When giving directions it is important to figure out your starting point and end point. The question may be posed like this:

Give the direction from A to B. (in this case your starting point is A and your end point is B)

Or the question may be posed like this:

Give the direction of A from B. (In this case your starting point is B and your end point is A)

Note: The word “from” lets you know where to start.

When you have figured out your starting point, the next step is to draw a cross right on top of it. The cross consists of a vertical line running from north to south and a horizontal line running from east to west. These lines should intersect exactly on your starting point. Next, draw a line from the middle of the cross to your end point. Observe this line to see which of the sixteen points of the compass it most closely matches.

Example:

Look at the grid below. What is the direction from the hotel in 2246 to the playground in 2448?

The first step is to figure out the start and end points. Since we’re going from the hotel, our starting point is the hotel. Our end point is the playground. Next we draw a cross directly over the hotel. Then we draw a line from the middle of the cross to the middle of the playground (see below).

We observe the line which goes from the hotel to the playground to see which of the sixteen points of the compass it most closely matches. In this case, the point the line most closely matches is northeast. Therefore we can say that the direction from the hotel to the playground is northeast. We can also say that the playground is northeast of the hotel.

References

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Compass_rose_browns_00.png

Related Pages

Map Skills

Compass Bearing

Four Figure Grid References