N-E-W-S Tips for Learning Directions on a Map (N-orth, E-ast, W-est, S-outh)

Posted by Susan Bohl on 04/01/2016

With the introduction of automation and new technology tools, it’s made most of us all a little lazy when it comes to knowing how to count back change at the convenience store or knowing our directions when we’re driving someplace.  Technology tools tell us how much change to give back and with the mapping tools, we’re told turn right or left verses East or West.

Couple the use of technology with the fact that a lot of people in the world struggle with learning the directions on a map, as well as the direction they’re driving when going from point A to point B.  But if you were asked to give driving directions to someone, could you?

Well at OKIE811, our Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) must be able to understand directions provided to them by the excavator on where digging is taking place, as well as they must know how to provide driving directions for the line locator to know how to get to the dig site.  And all they have in front of them is a map.  So it’s very important that they know which direction is which way. 

For the newer CSR, learning the North is UP and South is DOWN, isn’t so hard. But there seems to be confusion with remembering that West is LEFT and East is RIGHT when looking at a map.  The reason for this confusion is most likely the result of it being backwards when you’re actually driving a car.  When you’re driving a car and heading SOUTH, West will be on your right and East will be on your left… backwards from what you see when looking at the map.

So here’s a trick to remembering the correct direction when looking at a map… just think N-E-W-S! 

Reading:  North at the top, then East to the right, then West to the left, then South at the bottom = NEWS!  You could also think of it weird shaped “Z” so you remember when drawing a “Z” you start at the top, go right, then left, then down.

And always remember that when you’re actually driving in a car, or watching the sun rise and set, the directions you’re looking at on the map are opposite when it comes to East and West.

I hope these tips will help you, especially if your line of work requires you to know your directions!