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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

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
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.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Geography grade 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 11, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11036/1.1
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