Antique Compass Roses
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Antique compass roses evolved out of a historical use of maps for navigation. That purpose required a need for finding a bearing, or direction of movement, from a point on the map to another point on the map. The most common compass rose directions shown are...
- Cardinal directions
- North (N) 0°
- East (E) 90°
- South (S) 180°
- West (W) 270°
- Inter-cardinal directions
- Northeast (NE) 45°, halfway between north and east
- Southeast (SE) 135°, halfway between south and east
- Southwest (SW) 225°, halfway between south and west
- Northwest (NW) 315°, halfway between north and west
- Compounded inter-cardinal directions Some examples are...
- South-southeast (SSE) 157.5°, halfway between southeast and south
- North-northeast (NNE) 22.5° halfway between northeast and north
Others can be calculated by adding 22.5° to the bearing lesser of the compounded directions.
An antique compass rose tends to be more elaborate than modern, simplified designs. They often have a complex stack of directional layers with an elaborate center and often a fleur de lis or some other symbol for the north point...
The ornate antique compass rose is the opposite of the streamlined simplified modern north arrow compass rose.
This complex design fits in with the ornate nature of antique maps.
This is the reason a map designer should take the gestalt, or overall look of a map, into consideration...
A highly ornate antique compass rose just doesn't fit into a simplified map. And a design emulating an antique maps doesn't look right without an ornate compass rose...
However, deriving a simplified version can really bring a decorative map to life.
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