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Direction and bearing - SS2 Geography Lesson Note

Direction and bearing are important concepts in navigation, especially when considering the major cardinal points, true/magnetic north, and magnetic variations.

Cardinal Points:

Cardinal points are the four main compass directions: North, South, East, and West.

North is the direction toward the North Pole, South is the direction toward the South Pole, East is to the right when facing North, and West is to the left when facing North.


True North and Magnetic North:

True North is the geographic North Pole, the point around which the Earth rotates. It represents the Earth's true north direction.

Magnetic North is the direction a magnetic compass points towards. It is influenced by the Earth's magnetic field.


Magnetic Variations (Magnetic Declination):

Magnetic variations refer to the angle or difference between true north and magnetic north at a specific location.

This angle varies depending on where you are on the Earth's surface and changes over time due to shifts in the Earth's magnetic field.


How They Relate:

When using a magnetic compass for navigation, you need to consider magnetic variations. If you follow the direction indicated by a magnetic compass, you'll be heading toward magnetic north, which may not be the same as true north.

To navigate accurately, you must correct for the magnetic variation by adding or subtracting the appropriate angle from your compass reading to determine the true direction.

Recommended: Questions and Answers on Map Reading for SS2 Geography
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