# Directions and bearings

Learn about the purpose of using direction in geography and how bearings are a more specific way of finding direction. The video also demonstrates how to use a protractor to find the bearing between two points of reference on a map.

This video:

• details the process of finding bearings on a map – this skill is commonly taught in geography and allows students to find the location of places more accurately
• demonstrates how to use a ruler and protractor to find a bearing giving examples.

Once students become familiar with using a ruler and protractor, they will be able to apply them to other topographic maps used in class.

Watch 'Directions and bearings' (3:45).

Learn how to use a protractor.

### Transcript of Directions and bearings

[Music playing]

[Music]

[Screen shows a blue sky with clouds. Text on screen reads, ‘Curriculum Secondary Learners – HSIE. Directions and bearings. Presented by Melissa Ellis’.]

## Melissa Ellis:

Hello.

[Presenter is standing in front of a decorative background. In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, the text reads, ‘Melissa Ellis. HSIE Curriculum Support Project Officer’.]

This video is teaching directions and bearings. Direction helps us orientate ourselves in the world.

[Screen shows a close-up video of a hand slowly rotating a compass.]

Geographers use compass points north, east, south, west to describe where things are in relation to other places.

[Screen shows a video of a person using a map and a compass while hiking.]

An easy way to remember direction is, ‘never eat sour worms’.

[Screen shows presenter standing in front of a decorative background.]

When using maps in geography, you will need to be familiar with direction. If you are asked to draw a map in geography, remember – always include direction.

Next, you'll be shown how to find bearings on a map using direction and a protractor.

Bearings is another name for angle. Angles are measured in degrees. A circle has 360 degrees. If north is zero, then the direction of one place from another can be described

as so many degrees from north. We use bearings instead of direction because 360 degrees is more accurate than 8 or 16 on a compass.

Let's take a look at some simple examples.

[Screen shows a piece of paper and a protractor on top of a notepad. On the piece of paper, the presenter has written, ‘Hometown’ and ‘Greenville’. There is a dot on the left-hand side of both words. ‘Hometown’ is written towards the middle of the page. ‘Greenville’ is written above ‘Hometown’ in a north-east direction. Using Hometown’s dot as the base, the presenter has drawn a vertical line with an arrowhead that is pointing upwards. The letter ‘N’ is written above the arrowhead. Presenter points to the word, ‘Hometown’.]

Here we have Hometown.

[Presenter points to the ‘N’.]

[Presenter points to the word, ‘Greenville’.]

Here we have Greenville. Use the protractor to measure the angle going clockwise from north to Greenville.

[Presenter draws a diagonal line to connect Hometown’s dot with Greenville’s dot. They have created an acute angle. They then use the protractor to measure the size of the angle. The presenter writes ’48 degrees’ on the page. They draw a curved line that ends with an arrowhead to demonstrate the amount of rotation between the two lines.]

The angle is 48. Let's do another.

[Screen shows a new piece of paper and a protractor. On the piece of paper, the presenter has written, ‘Hometown’ and ‘Bluetown’. There is a dot on the left-hand side of both words. ‘Hometown’ is written towards the middle of the page. ‘Bluetown’ is written below ‘Hometown’ in a south-east direction. Using Hometown’s dot as the base, the presenter has drawn a vertical line with an arrowhead that is pointing upwards. Presenter points to the word, ‘Hometown’ and the word, ‘Bluetown’.]

Here we have Hometown.

[Presenter writes the letter ‘N’ on top of the arrowhead. They point to it.]

[Presenter again points to the word, ‘Bluetown’.]

Here we have Bluetown. Use the protractor to measure the angle going clockwise from north to Bluetown.

[Presenter draws a diagonal line to connect Hometown’s dot with Bluetown’s dot. They have created an obtuse angle. They then use the protractor to measure the size of the angle. The presenter writes, ‘140 degrees’ on the page. They draw a curved line that ends with an arrowhead to demonstrate the amount of rotation between the two lines.]

The angle is 140. One more example.

[Screen shows a new piece of paper and a protractor. On the piece of paper, the presenter has written, ‘Cape Red’. They then write the word, ‘Hometown’. There is a dot on the left-hand side of both words. ‘Hometown’ is written towards the middle of the page. ‘Cape Red’ is written below ‘Hometown’ in a south-west direction. Using Hometown’s dot as the base, the presenter has drawn a vertical line with an arrowhead that is pointing upwards. The letter ‘N’ is written above the arrowhead.]

[Presenter points to the word, ‘Hometown’. They then point to the letter ‘N’, followed by the word, ‘Cape Red’.]

Here we have Cape Red. Use the protractor to measure the angle going clockwise from north to Cape Red.

[Presenter draws a diagonal line to connect Hometown’s dot with Cape Red’s dot. They have created a reflex angle. They then use the protractor to measure the size of the angle. The presenter writes ‘240 degrees’ on the page. They draw a curved line that ends with an arrowhead to demonstrate the amount of rotation between the two lines.]

The angle is 240.

[Screen shows presenter standing in front of a decorative background.]

Always remember to start with finding north and measure the angle clockwise from north. Good luck with your bearings.