Learn about The Cardinal Directions and Compass Rose

Today we are going to talk about Cardinal Directions and Compass Rose. Our main directions are known as the main points of the compass. And the compass is considered to be the most commonly used form of direction. The Latin word "cardinal" comes from Cardinalis and the word means "essential" or "chief". So let us gather a little more information about Cardinal Directions and Compass Rose.

North, East, South and West are the four main points in the compass. Compasses are usually indicated from their initial point of view where "N" is to the north, "S" to the south, "E" to the east, and "W" to the west. The east and west directions on the compass are found located at right angles to the north and south directions.

The other directions seen on the machine in this type are the primary inter cardinal directions and these directions are also known as general directions and secondary inter cardinal directions. The primary intercardinal directions shown in the compass are directions placed evenly between each of the four main directions. On the compass are NE, NW, SW and Southeast SE.

The secondary inter cardinal directions shown on the compass are the directions placed in the middle between each cardinal and primary inter cardinal direction. The indicated directions of this type are north-west, west-northeast, south-southwest, south-southeast, east-northeast, west-northwest, west-southwest and east-southeast.

Compass Rose

The rose shown on the compass is known as a very important symbol of the map, the nautical chart, and which shows the orientation of geographical objects in cardinal and inter cardinal directions. In addition only four points are found in a compass with main directions. There will be eight points with both ordinal and cardinal directions. And will have 16 points with all the cardinal, ordinal and secondary inter cardinal directions of the compass.

The rose shown on the compass is initially used to be traced to maritime time. And this type of compass first appeared on maps and charts in the 1300s. The word "rose" refers to the issues of this machine and which are similar to the petals of a rose. In the early days the rose shown on the compass was used to indicate the direction of the wind and hence it was named the wind rose.

The main directions were always marked with the direction of the wind on the rose shown on the compass. This symbol of the compass was later developed as the Fleur de lys symbol and was first used on Portuguese maps. The east side of the rose shown on the compass in a 14th century map was marked by a cross and symbolically represented the direction in which Jesus Christ was born.


Very accurate geographical location, direction of movement and other navigational activities are easier to determine when any map is used with a compass. A white compass rose with four main points on the compass is also used as a symbol of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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