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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cardinal and Ordinal Directions (North, East, South, West)


The directional names are also routinely and very conveniently associated with the degrees of rotation in the unit circle, a necessary step for navigational calculations (derived from trigonometry) and/or for use with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) Receivers. The four cardinal directions correspond to the following degrees of a compass:

North (N): 0° = 360°
East (E): 90°
South (S): 180°
West (W): 270°

An ordinal, or inter-cardinal, or intermediate, direction is one of the four intermediate compass directions located halfway between the cardinal directions.

Northeast (NE), 45°, halfway between north and east, is the opposite of southwest.
Southeast (SE), 135°, halfway between south and east, is the opposite of northwest.
Southwest (SW), 225°, halfway between south and west, is the opposite of northeast.
Northwest (NW), 315°, halfway between north and west, is the opposite of southeast.

These 8 words have been further compounded, resulting in a total of 16 named (and numbered) points evenly spaced around the compass. Some languages do not use compound words to name the points, instead assigning unique words, colors, and/or associations with phenomena of the natural world.

#
Compass point
Abbr.
Traditional wind point
Lowest
Middle
Highest
1
North
N
0.00°
5.62°
2
North by east
NbE
5.63°
11.25°
16.87°
3
North-northeast
NNE
16.88°
22.50°
28.12°
4
Northeast by north
NEbN
28.13°
33.75°
39.37°
5
Northeast
NE
39.38°
45.00°
50.62°
6
Northeast by east
NEbE
50.63°
56.25°
61.87°
7
East-northeast
ENE
61.88°
67.50°
73.12°
8
East by north
EbN
73.13°
78.75°
84.37°
9
East
E
84.38°
90.00°
95.62°
10
East by south
EbS
95.63°
101.25°
106.87°
11
East-southeast
ESE
106.88°
112.50°
118.12°
12
Southeast by east
SEbE
118.13°
123.75°
129.37°
13
Southeast
SE
129.38°
135.00°
140.62°
14
Southeast by south
SEbS
140.63°
146.25°
151.87°
15
South-southeast
SSE
151.88°
157.50°
163.12°
16
South by east
SbE
163.13°
168.75°
174.37°
17
South
S
174.38°
180.00°
185.62°
18
South by west
SbW
185.63°
191.25°
196.87°
19
South-southwest
SSW
196.88°
202.50°
208.12°
20
Southwest by south
SWbS
208.13°
213.75°
219.37°
21
Southwest
SW
219.38°
225.00°
230.62°
22
Southwest by west
SWbW
230.63°
236.25°
241.87°
23
West-southwest
WSW
241.88°
247.50°
253.12°
24
West by south
WbS
253.13°
258.75°
264.37°
25
West
W
264.38°
270.00°
275.62°
26
West by north
WbN
275.63°
281.25°
286.87°
27
West-northwest
WNW
286.88°
292.50°
298.12°
28
Northwest by west
NWbW
298.13°
303.75°
309.37°
29
Northwest
NW
309.38°
315.00°
320.62°
30
Northwest by north
NWbN
320.63°
326.25°
331.87°
31
North-northwest
NNW
331.88°
337.50°
343.12°
32
North by west
NbW
343.13°
348.75°
354.37°
1
North
N
354.38°
360.00°

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