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6.4 Direction on the Earth

Direction is defined as

  • a point to or from which a person or thing moves or faces.


Bearing is defined as

  • the horizontal angle between
  • an object's direction and
  • the direction to another object.


6.4.2 Describe the 360º Method of Indicating Direction.

For precise navigation purposes, we use

  • a circle,
  • divide it into 360 degrees with
  • North at the top of the circle.


North can be referred to as

  • 000° or
  • 360°.


All directions are measured clockwise from North, which are then expressed in the form of a three figure group.


  • 045° (northeast),
  • 180° (south),
  • 345° (northwest) and so on.

6.4.4 Describe the Earth's Magnetic Field.

  • The earth acts as a huge magnet, and its lines of magnetic force are sufficiently strong to influence the direction of a freely suspended magnetic needle. 
  • The poles of the magnet earth are known as the north magnetic pole and the south magnetic pole. 
  • The location of the North Magnetic Pole is in the Hudson's Bay area in Canada, and the South Magnetic Pole is near South Victoria land in Antarctica. 
  • The lines of magnetic force joining these two poles run roughly north-south.
  • A freely suspended magnet will swing so that its axis will align itself in a general north-south direction, with the end called the north-seeking pole pointing to the earth's north magnetic pole. 
  • The actual direction now shown by the magnet is called magnetic north, and this is the datum used to measure magnetic direction.
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