A guide on How to Calculate True Bearing in Geography

A guide on How to Calculate True Bearing in Geography: True bearing is an important concept in geography and navigation. It refers to the horizontal angle between the direction of an object and the true north. In other words, it is the angle between the direction of an object and the north-south line that passes through the Earth’s axis. True bearing is used to determine the location of an object or to navigate from one point to another accurately. It is measured in degrees, with 360 degrees representing a full circle. True bearing is different from magnetic bearing, which is the horizontal angle between the direction of an object and magnetic north. Magnetic north is the direction towards which the north end of a compass needle points, and it is different from true north, which is the geographic north pole. To calculate the true bearing of an object, you need to determine the magnetic north, identify the object’s direction, and add or subtract the magnetic declination to determine the true bearing. In this article, we will discuss how to calculate true bearing in geography.

How to Calculate True Bearing in Geography

Step 1: Determine the Magnetic North:

The first step in calculating true bearing is to determine the magnetic north. Magnetic north is the direction towards which the north end of a compass needle points. It is different from true north, which is the geographic north pole. You can find the magnetic north by using a compass or by checking the declination chart for your location.

Step 2: Determine the Object’s Direction:

The second step in calculating true bearing is to determine the object’s direction. This is done by observing the object and identifying its position in relation to the magnetic north. For example, if the object is due east of the magnetic north, the direction of the object is 090 degrees.

Step 3: Add or Subtract the Magnetic Declination

The next step is to add or subtract the magnetic declination for your location. Magnetic declination is the difference between magnetic north and true north. The declination varies depending on your location and changes over time. You can find the declination chart for your location online or in a topographic map. If the declination is east, subtract it from the object’s direction. If the declination is west, add it to the object’s direction.

Step 4: Determine the True Bearing

The final step is to determine the true bearing by adding or subtracting the magnetic declination from the object’s direction. If the declination is east, subtract it from the object’s direction. If the declination is west, add it to the object’s direction. The result is the true bearing of the object.

Video: Map Skills – Calculating Bearings in a Geography Examination

Calculating true bearing is an essential skill for geography and navigation. It involves determining the magnetic north, identifying the object’s direction, and adding or subtracting the magnetic declination to determine the true bearing. By following these steps, you can accurately determine the location of an object or navigate from one point to another.

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