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Compass Terms

attack point an easy - to - find feature shown on the map from which the final approach — “ attack ” — to the control may be made.
back - reading looking back over the compass toward the point from which you came.
base plate the rectangular plate of the orienteering compass on which the compass housing is mounted.
cardinal points the four principal points of the compass: north, east, south, and west.
catching feature a feature beyond the control that can be used to alert you that you have gone too far.
check-off features features along your route that help you confirm your position on the map.
checkpoint a conspicuous feature in the landscape shown on the map and used by the orienteer to check progress.
collecting feature an obvious feature between you and the control that helps guide you.
compass instrument for determining directions with the help of a strip of magnetized steel swinging on a pivot.
compass, conventional a compass generally enclosed in a watchcase - type of housing.
contour interval the distance in height between one contour line and the one next to it.
contouring a method of traveling around an obstacle, such as a hill, by keeping at the same elevation, thus following a contour.
control one of several locations in the field to be visited by the orienteer during an orienteering event. Marked on the master map by a red circle, and in the field by a prism - shaped orange - and - white marker.
control card a card carried by the orienteer, to be marked at designated controls in a prescribed sequence.
control description a sheet or card with a brief explanation of the nature of the controls to be visited, with code numbers coinciding with the numbers on the control markers.
control punch usually a pin punch, placed at a control, to be used in punching the control card as proof that the orienteer has visited the location. At some events, electronic punching systems are used.
cultural features man - made landscape features: roads, buildings, etc.
declination the angle between the direction the compass needle points and the true - north line; the difference in degrees between magnetic - north direction and true - north direction in any given locality.
Compass Dial the rim or edge of the compass housing, usually marked with the initials of the cardinal points and graduated in the 360 degrees of a circle.
Direction the relative location of one landscape feature to another.
direction - of - travel arrow The arrow on the base plate of the orienteer- ing compass that points in the direction of travel when the compass is oriented.
Handrails a longish feature shown on the map running more or less parallel to the direction to be followed.
hydrographic features water features: streams, lakes, etc.; from Greek hydro , water, and graphein , to write.
hypsographic features elevations: hills and valleys; from Greek hypso , height, and graphein , to write.
index pointer a line on the base plate of the orienteering compass against which the degree number of the dial on the compass housing is read.
intercardinal points the four points of the compass between the four cardinal points: north - east, south - east, south - west, north - west.
International Orienteering Federation (IOF) the organization governing international orienteering competitions,
landmark a feature in the landscape that can be readily recognized - anything from a prominent tree or rock, to a church or a lake.
latitude distance in degrees north and south from the equator.
leg a stretch of country to be negotiated between controls.
longitude distance in degrees east and west from the meridian through Greenwich, England.
magnetic lines lines on an orienteering map pointing to magnetic north.
map a reduced representation of a portion of the surface of Earth.
map symbols small designs used on a map to indicate the features of a landscape.
master map a map on which the controls of an orienteering event are marked and from which each orienteer marks his or her own map at the start.
meridians lines on the map or imaginary lines in the field running true north to true south.
orientation the process of determining one ’ s location in the fi eld with the help of landscape features, map, or compass, or with all three combined.
orienteer a person who orienteers, that is, who participates in the sport of orienteering.
orienteering the skill or the process of finding your way in the field with map and compass combined.
orienteering compass a compass especially designed to simplify the pro- cess of fi nding your way with map and compass. Usually has its compass housing mounted on a rectangular base plate in such a way that it can be turned easily.
orienting arrow arrow marking or parallel lines in or on housing of orienteering compass; used for setting the compass.
compass orienting holding a compass in such a way that the directions of its dial coincide with the same directions in the field.
Map Orienting turning a map in such a way that what is north on the map corresponds with north in the field. Done by “ inspection, ” or with the help of a compass.
pace double - step
pace counting measuring distance by counting the number of double - steps taken.
pace scale a special scale giving the number of paces to take for a measured distance on the map, selected for the individual and based on his or her step length.
protractor instrument used for measuring angles, usually in degrees.
quadrangle a rectangular tract of land depicted on a map.
route the way taken between two controls.
scale the ratio between a distance on the map and the actual distance in the field.
steering mark an easily identifiable feature in the landscape not shown on the map, used by the orienteer to follow a bearing.
topographic maps maps with contour lines and of high precision; from the Greek topos , place, and graphein , to write
variation another term for declination.
wayfaring a leisurely form of orienteering in which enjoyment of nature takes precedence over the competitive aspects of the sport. Commonly called map hiking.
aiming off a method by which the orienteer aims to one side of a control instead of directly at it.
bearing originally the nautical term for the direction of an object from the ship. In orienteering defined as " a direction stated in compass degrees"
Housing the part of the compass that houses the needle; on orienteering compasses, liquid filled, and turnable
Orienting Lines of Compass the lines on the inside bottom of the compass housing parallel to the N-S orienting arrow of the compass housing. also called magnetic north lines or compass meridian lines
Created by: lynnegough
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