Basics of Navigation

1. Points of the Compass

1.1. Cardinal Points

Points of the compass

Main Cardinal Points

These are the four points of the compass with their clockwise abbreviations:

  • North (N),
  • East (E),
  • South (S),
  • West (W)

Minor directions Minor Points

For a more precise indication of direction there is the following point between the main cardinal points:

  • Northeast (NE)
  • Southeast (SE)
  • Southwest (SW)
  • Northwest (NW)

North and south are always in the name before west (W) and east (E).

All directionsFine Subdivision

In order to be able to give an even finer indication of the direction, a combination of the names of the main and secondary cardinal points is formed in this order: NNE = north-northeast, ESE = east-southeast, etc.

  • north northeast (NNO)
  • East Northeast (ONO)
  • East Southeast (OSO)
  • Southeast (SSO)
  • Southwest (SSW)
  • West Southwest (WSW)
  • West Northwest (WNW)
  • Northwest (NNW)

There are even finer specifications (shown in the image).  In practice, however, these are not used for virtual flying.