A bearing helps us determine the direction of one point relative to another. Bearings are measured in degrees (°), with values ranging from 0° to 360°.
There are three basic rules to remember when working with bearings:
A protractor is typically used to measure bearings. To do so
1. Place the protractor’s centre point on the vertex where the angle is formed.
2. Align the protractor’s baseline with the reference direction (usually True North, Magnetic North, or the specific reference direction for your problem).
3. Read the bearing value from the protractor’s scale, starting from the baseline and moving clockwise around the angle being measured.
Let’s look at how to find the new bearing after making a turn.
Imagine a person standing at point A and facing a bearing of 045°. The person then decides to turn 90° to the left. We want to find the new bearing the person is facing after the turn.
To find the new bearing, we subtract the angle of the turn from the initial bearing:
New bearing = Initial bearing − Angle of turn
New bearing = 045° − 90°
Since the result is negative, we add 360° to find the equivalent positive bearing:
New bearing = −45° + 360° = 315°
So, the person is now facing a bearing of 315° after turning 90° to the left.