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The basic principle: The science behind a magnetic compass is that a charged or we can say magnetized piece of iron is kept on a wood plank and then the two are placed in a bowl of water and then the wooden piece is allowed to float.

The wooden plank will float till the time the magnetized iron piece starts pointing in the north-south direction. It is then that the other directions can be ascertained from there.

The reason why the compass works is because our Earth itself is a magnificent piece of magnet. The magnetic poles are at a distance of about 2,100 kilometers from the actual geographic North and South poles. The uneven lines of force then connect the magnetic poles, and the needle of the compass you would use will put itself with these lines of force.

The current day pocket compass: The magnetic compass used in today’s time works in the same principle. In place of a magnetized iron and wooden plank, this latest form of compass has a magnetized needle that swings on a pivot to tell the directions.

A compass bigger in size has two or more parallel needles attached to the underside of a disk which is known as ‘compass card’.

How to find the right directions for your plot or flat?

All you need to do is go towards the centre of the plot/flat and you should face towards the entrance. Now while facing towards the entrance, hold the compass and the needle should be pointing towards the north. This is where you will get the right directions.

Getting the right direction is just a click away. You need not carry a compass everywhere. You may use the compass provided in your smart phone or either you may just download it.

A routine compass has 32 direction pointers.

1. The four main direction points are- north, east, south, and west. They are marked N, E, S, and W.

1. In between these lie are the inter sectional points, such as northeast (NE), northwest (NW), southeast (SE) and southwest (SW).

1. A deeper study can also indicate other directions such as north-northeast (NNE).

1. This procedure of naming all the points of a compass is called boxing the compass.

The compass has 360 degrees marked on it.

These degrees help the navigator to double check with the directions in case any discrepancy comes in.

North is 000° (or 360°);

South, 180°;

East, 090°;

West, 270″.