# Compass: North, South, East and West

Directions on the "Compass Rose"

## Compass Bearings

A Compass Bearing tells us Direction

The 4 main directions are North, South, East and West (going clockwise they are NESW).

How to remember?

With North pointing ahead, "West" and "East" make the word "WE"

 N W E S

Or clockwise they are: "Never Eat Soggy Wheat"

### Play The Game

Try the Direction Game.

## In Between

Halfway between North and East is North-East (NE).

There is also South-East (SE), South-West (SW) and North-West (NW).

And in between all of those are:

• NNE (North-North-East),
• ENE (East-North-East),
• ESE (East-South-East),
• SSE (South-South-East),
• SSW (South-South-West),
• WSW (West-South-West),
• WNW (West-North-West),
• NNW (North-North-west)

Example: in the morning there was a strong North wind, but later it swung around to the North-East

Example: they were sailing mainly South-West, but sometimes a little towards South-South-West.

## Three-Figure Bearings

Three-figure bearings are an alternative to compass bearings that are much more precise. They are measured in a special way:

• Start measuring from the direction North
• Measure clockwise
• Give the bearing using three figures (or more than three if there's a decimal)

It is common to put extra "0"s to make a full 3 digits, so:

 North is 000° West is 270° East is 090° South is 180°

Airline pilots and ships' helmsmen use three-figure bearings so that they can point their craft in exactly the right direction to safely reach their destination.

### Examples

The four main compass bearings (North, East, South and West) are multiples of 90°:

The advantage of three-figure bearings is that they describe any direction uniquely:

Note that the last one has four figures (three in front of the decimal point and one after) but it is still a "three-figure bearing", the .4 just gives more accuracy.

The degree symbol is not always used:

Example: South-West is 225 (in other words 225° clockwise from North)

6965, 6966, 6969, 6972, 6973, 661, 6509, 6510, 6511, 6512, 9179, 9181, 9183, 9186