|There are really six cardinal or main directions. Up and
down are two main directions. Up is any direction away from the
center of the Earth. Down is any direction toward the center of
|The four other cardinal directions are north, south, east
and west. To learn about these four cardinal directions we need
to study some basic facts about our planet Earth.
|The Earth is a sphere, a round, solid body. (In fact, it's
not quite round, but that only matters to scientists.) The Earth
spins, or rotates, on an imaginary axis. This imaginary axis
passes through the center of the Earth. It emerges from the
Earth's surface at two opposite points. One of these points is
called the North Pole. The other is the South Pole.
|Find the Compass Rose at Latitude 30N, 150E. Find the
Compass Rose at 40S, 45E.
|The poles define two of the cardinal (major) directions,
north and south. North is toward the North Pole. South is toward
the South Pole.
|The direction in which the Earth rotates defines the other
cardinal directions, east and west. The Earth rotates from west
to east. East is to the right as you face the North Pole. West
is to your left as you face the North Pole.
|The globe has not distortion. It shows true direction. Place
your globe in the clear view mounting as shown below, such that
the North Pole is pointing to the ceiling.
|On your globe find the Equator. Draw an arrow from the
Equator almost all the way to the North Pole. Label this arrow
north. Next draw an arrow from the Equator toward the South
Pole. Label this direction south. As you look at the globe you
will see other lines that run north and south are already drawn
on the globe. These lines are called meridians or longitude. All
meridians run from pole to pole. The Prime Meridian is a special
line of longitude.
|The Equator is the main east-west line on the globe. Turn
the globe so that the North Pole is upward. East is to your
right as you face the North Pole. West is to your left as you
face the North Pole.
|As you look at the globe you will see other lines that run
east and west. East and west lines are called parallels of
|With the North Pole pointing toward the ceiling, draw an
arrow along the Equator that is toward your right. Label this
arrow east. Draw another arrow to your left. Label this arrow
|Use your globe to answer these questions:
|1. Which continent is south of Europe?
|_______ Africa _______ North America _______ Asia
|2. Which ocean is east of Africa?
|_______ Indian Ocean _______ Atlantic Ocean _______ Arctic
|3. Which continents are south of the Equator?
|_______ North America _______ Antarctica _______ Australia
|4. Which ocean is north of Asia?
|_______ Atlantic Ocean _______ Arctic Ocean _______ Indian
|5. Which ocean is east of South America?
|_______ Arctic Ocean _______ Atlantic Ocean _______ Pacific