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Social sciences


Map work

Grade 9

Module 13

Magnetic north map skills

You became acquainted with basic map skills in Grade 8 and did exercises that involved the 1:50 000 topographic map of Alice. In doing that, you learned to:

determine location

gauge accurately and determine direction

calculate distance by making use of a scale

explain the naming of a map

recognise conventional map symbols

recognise representation of height on maps

identify contour patterns

This knowledge, together with what you will still be acquiring in using the 1:50 000 topographic map of Bloemfontein and a 1:10 000 orthophoto map of a portion of this will see you through this year’s work.

Before commencing the practical exercises, you have to learn a number of additional map skills.

Calculating distance on an orthophoto map.

Orthophoto maps are always drawn to the scale of 1:10 000. Follow the steps to determine distance:

Accurately measure the distance between two points in centimetres, using a ruler (or using a string if the line to be measured curves);

Convert this distance to kilometres or metres, depending on what is required.



The length between A and B is 10 cm.

Scale 1 1:10 000

What is the true distance in km?

10 cm x 10 000

100 000 cm ÷ 100 000

1 km

What is the true distance in m?

10 cm x 10 000

100 000 ÷ 100

1000 m

Why do we divide by 100 000 and 100?

The metrical units of measurement can be represented as follows:

Km Hm Dm M dm cm mm
1 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 0

We therefore have 100 000 cm in 1 km


100 cm in 1 meter

You may therefore follow the shorter method if you can remember that the scale of

1 : 10 000 is the same as:

1 cm = 10 000 cm

1 cm = 100 m (÷ 100)

1 cm = 0,1 km (÷ 100 000)

Activity 1: [lo 1.3]

  1. Calculate the true distance in metres if the distance on a 1:10 000 orthophoto map is as follows;
  1. 5,8 cm.
  2. 10,1 cm.
  3. Calculate the true distance in kilometres if the distance on a 1:10 000 orthophoto map is as follows;
  1. 92,2 cm.
  2. 15,6 cm. Magnetic North and Magnetic Declination

You have learnt how to gauge accurately in Grade 8. Remember the steps that have to be followed:

Connect the two points by means of a pencilled line.

  • Draw a line to show True North through the point FROM which you have to measure.
  • Position the protractor by placing 0° against the line indicating north and the centre at the point from which the measurement is to be taken.
  • Measure the angle clockwise from the line for north to the connecting line (pencilled line of Step 1.)


On a map, North therefore indicates the North Pole, which we refer to as TRUE NORTH (geographic north.)

The earth also has a magnetic field that extends from north to south, for which we use a compass. The earth’s magnetic field does not correspond exactly with the true North and South Poles. North as indicated by the compass will always lie WEST of TRUE NORTH (TN) and is known as MAGNETIC NORTH (MN).

The difference between true north and magnetic north is known as the MAGNETIC DECLINATION (MD). The Magnetic Declination differs from place to place and continuously increases and decreases at any place, because magnetic north is not a fixed point.

To make it possible to determine the Magnetic Declination of any place, the following information is given in the margin of a 1:50 000 topographic map:


Calculate magnetic declination as at present:

Step 1:

Calculate the difference in years = 2003 – 2000

= 3 years

Step 2:

Multiply the years by the annual difference in minutes = 3 years x 4'

= 12'

Step 3:

Determine whether the angle increases (eastwards) or decreases (westwards).

Eastwards (smaller) -

Westwards (bigger) +

Step 4:

Add the minutes (westwards) or subtract them (eastwards).

In this instance it is eastwards, therefore:

21°30' - 12'

= 21°18' West of True North

REMEMBER that there are 60' in 1°.

If you should have to subtract and find that the degrees to be subtracted are too many, you “borrow” 1° and convert it to minutes.


21°30' – 34'

20°90' - 34'

= 20°56' West of True North.

If you should have to add minutes and get an answer that is more than 60’, you have to convert it 1°.


21°30' + 34'


= 22°04' West of True North.

Step 5:

Remember to write West of True North alongside the new declination, because Magnetic North ALWAYS lies WEST of True NORTH.

Magnetic North

To gauge Magnetic North between two points, the degrees of TRUE NORTH must be added (+) to the Magnetic Declination and the answer must be written in degrees:


TN + MD = MN

50° + 21°18' = 71°18'


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:
1.2 asks questions that are relevant for identifying sources;
1.3 draws conclusions and makes analyses to obtain information from sources such as photographs, maps, atlases, graphs and statistics;
1.4 correlates information from different sources;
1.7 reports on knowledge that they have obtained through research, making use of different sources of information.
LO 2
Geographical Knowledge and UnderstandingThe learner will be able to demonstrate geographical and environmental knowledge and understanding.
We know this when the learner:
2.2 identifies ways in which Science and Technology have contributed a positively and negatively influence to development (people and resources.)



  • 580 m
  • 1 010 m
  • 9,22 km
  • 1,56 km


1. True North / Bearing :

Magnetic Declination:

1990 – 2003 = 13 years

13 × 2’ = 26’ westwards

18 0 41’ + 26’ (westwards)

= 18 0 67’

= 19 0 07 west of true north

Magnetic Bearing: WN + MD = MN

…… + 19 0 07 = ………………………..

  1. Actual Bearing :

Magnetic Declination: 1993 – 2003 = 10 years

10 × 3’ = 30’ eastwards (-)

20 0 15’ – 30’

19 0 75 – 30

= 19 0 45’ west of true north

Magnetic Bearing: WN + MO = MN

...................... + 19 0 45 =..................................

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
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
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
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.
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 9. OpenStax CNX. Sep 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11057/1.1
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