<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Social sciences


Grade 8


Module 11

Direction and bearing

1. Why should we be able to read a map?

A map is a reduction of reality as it seen perpendicularly from above and drawn to a certain scale. The scale indicates the number of times by which reality is reduced.

A good map provides information with regard to location, direction, distance, relief, routes and more. The reader can therefore read the information with ease and draw precise conclusions from it.

The series of 1:50 000 topographic maps of South Africa will be used for our studies. This is a collection of maps that cover the whole of South Africa. Each map in the series has a number to indicate its exact location and what its coordinates are. (see section 2.2.3)

A topographic map does not present phenomena of the landscape only, but also pictures the topography (relief) of the landscape by means of contour lines (see section 2.5.3).

These maps are all drawn to a scale of 1:50 000. This means that each centimetre on the map in reality represents 50 000 centimetres of the landscape. The true size is therefore reduced 50 times (see section 2.4).

To be able to read the map, you have to know and understand the symbols that are used in mapping (see section 2.5).

2. The basic elements of a map

2.1 Direction and Bearing

To be useful, a map needs to indicate the direction in which North is located. If such an indication is missing, the map must be rotated to make it readable, i.e. to have words running from left to right. This will position the northern part of the map in the position that is furthest from the reader.

2.1.1 Direction

The position of different places on the map in respect of one another can be determined by

The direction of the compass

Activity 1:

Complete figure 2 by labelling the 16 main compass points.

[lo 1.1]

Always take careful note of the point FROM which and the point TO which you have to work.


What is the direction FROM A to B = ENE

What is the direction FROM B to C = S

What is the direction FROM C to D = W

What is the direction FROM C to A = NW

What is the direction FROM B to D = SW

What is the direction FROM D to A = NNW

What is the direction FROM A to D = SSE

2.1.2 Bearing

Bearing is a more accurate measurement that direction, because it is expressed as an ANGLE.

All bearings are taken to the right (clockwise) from NORTH by means of a protractor.

Take good note of the points FROM which and TO which you have to work to determine bearing.

The steps you have to take are:

Connect the relevant points by means of a pencilled line.

Draw the line to North through the point FROM which you have to take the measurement.

Position the protractor by placing 0º against the north line, with the centre on the point from which you have to measure.

Measure the angle from the north line to the connecting line (pencilled line of Step 1) to the right (clockwise).

Example 1:

What is the bearing from A to B?

Example 2:

What is the bearing from A to B?

Activity 2:

Study the map and calculate the direction and the bearing.

[lo 1.1]

What is the direction?
a) From A to B?
b) From C to B?
c) From C to D?
d) From D to E?
e) From E to B?
What is the bearing?
a) From A to B?
b) From C to B?
c) From C to D?
d) From D to E?
e) From E to B?


Learning Outcomes(LOs)
LO 1
Geographical EnquiryThe learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate geographical and environmental concepts and processes.
Assessment Standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
  • identifies and selects a variety of
geographical and environmental sourcesthat are relevant to the research;
  • interprets information from maps and
atlases, as well as graphic and statisticalsources;
  • calculates distance from maps and
compares it to real distance;
  • identifies physical features and features
created by people and aerial photographsand maps.




The Direction

  1. SW
  2. WSW
  3. ENE
  4. SSW
  5. WNW

The bearing is

  1. 180 + 33 = ± 213º
  2. 180 69 = 249º
  3. ± 75º
  4. ± 23º
  5. ± 94º

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Geography grade 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 11, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11036/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Geography grade 8' conversation and receive update notifications?