What are bearings?

By Lee Mansfield on the 11th of June, 2012

1 Answer

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    This is a very good question.  Bearings are a special types of angles that are measured with respect to the north and south (vertical) axis.  For example, if you say a person is traveling 30 degrees NE, the bearing is telling us that the angle is 30 degrees east of north.  The best way to represent this angle on paper is to start at the north end of the vertical axis, measure an angle 30 degrees east of north, and draw a line pointing in that direction (NE) to create the angle.  Bearings are great applications for navigators who want to calculate their direction in terms of an angle, so they can avoid threatening winds and storms and arrive safely to their destination. 

    Refine By Ben McGahee on the 16th of January, 2013

Suggested reading…

Solve problems using bearings

Bearings are just another word for angles!

Where you start measuring the angle from is very important

Bearing of Town A to Town B’ means you start at A, and you’re going to B

Bearing of Town C from Town D’ means you start at D, and you’re going to C

At each start point you measure from its North.


For example

The bearing of Ship A to Ship B is 115 degrees

But the bearing of Ship A from Ship B is 295 degrees

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