A usual compass rose as uncovered on a nautical chart showing both true north and also magnetic north with magnetic variation. Also an alert the correspondence between the thirty-two suggest rose (inner circle) and also the contemporary 0-360° graduations

A compass rose, sometimes called a windrose, or Rose that the Winds, is a number on a compass, map, nautical chart, or monument supplied to display screen the orientation that the cardinal directions: North, East, South, and West—and their intermediate points. The is likewise the term because that the i graduated markings found on the timeless magnetic compass. Today, the idea the a compass rose is found on, or featured in, nearly all navigation systems, consisting of nautical charts, non-directional beacons (NDB), VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) systems, global-positioning equipment (GPS), and comparable equipment.

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The modern-day compass rose has actually eight primary winds. Detailed clockwise, these are:

Compass pointAbbr.HeadingTraditional wind
North-EastNE45° (45°×1)Greco or Grecale
EastE90° (45°×2)Levante
South-EastSE135° (45°×3)Sirocco
SouthS180° (45°×4)Ostro or Mezzogiorno
South-WestSW225° (45°×5)Libeccio or Garbino
WestW270° (45°×6)Ponente
North-WestNW315° (45°×7)Maestro or Mistral

Although contemporary compasses use the names of the eight major directions (N, NE, E, SE, etc.), larger compasses usage the classic Italianate wind name of middle ages origin (Tramontana, Greco, Levante, etc.)

4-point compass roses use only the 4 "basic winds" or "cardinal directions" (North, East, South, West), through angles of distinction at 90°.

8-point compass roses united state the eight major winds—that is, the four cardinal direction (N, E, S, W) to add the four "intercardinal" or "ordinal directions" (NE, SE, SW, NW), at angles of distinction of 45°.

16-point compass roses are created by bisecting the angle of the primary winds come come up with intermediate compass points, recognized as half-winds, at angle of distinction of 221⁄2°. The names of the half-winds are merely combinations the the principal winds to one of two people side, major then ordinal. E.g. North-northeast (NNE), East-northeast (ENE), etc.

32-point compass roses are created by bisecting these angles, and also coming up with quarter-winds in ~ 111⁄4° angle of difference. Quarter-wind name are created with the names "X by Y", which have the right to be review as "one 4 minutes 1 wind from X towards Y", wherein X is just one of the eight primary winds and Y is one of the two surrounding cardinal directions. E.g. North-by-east (NbE) is one quarter wind indigenous North in the direction of East, Northeast-by-north (NEbN) is one quarter wind from Northeast towards North. Naming every 32 points on the climbed is dubbed "boxing the compass".

The 32-point rose has the uncomfortable number of 111⁄4° between points, yet is easily uncovered by halving divisions and also may have actually been less complicated for those not using a 360° circle. Utilizing gradians, of i beg your pardon there room 400 in a circle, the sixteen-point rose will have twenty-five gradians per point.


Linguistic anthropological research studies have shown that most human communities have 4 points that cardinal direction. The names provided to these directions are usually derived from either locally-specific geographic features (e.g. "towards the hills", "towards the sea") or native celestial body (especially the sun) or indigenous atmospheric features (winds, temperature). Most mobile populaces tend to take on sunrise and also sunset because that East and West and also the direction indigenous where various winds punch to represent North and South.

Modern depictions

The modern compass rose appears as two rings, one smaller sized and collection inside the other. The outside ring denotes true cardinal directions while the smaller inside ring denotes magnetic cardinal directions. True north describes the geographical ar of the phibìc pole when magnetic north refers to the direction towards which the phibìc pole that a magnetic thing (as found in a compass) will certainly point. The angular difference in between true and magnetic phibìc is called variation, i m sorry varies depending upon location. The angular difference in between magnetic heading and compass heading is referred to as deviation which different by vessel and also its heading.

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Outward Bound uses the compass rose as the logo for various schools around the world.Hong Kong Correctional Services"s crest uses four point star.A 16-point compass increased is the official logo of the Spanish nationwide University that Distance education (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia or UNED).

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