Compass Bearing - Azimuth
he word "azimuth" comes from an Arabic form of a Latin word meaning "way" or "path." In the illustration, "N 49° E" is an azimuth indicating a compass bearing or direction of 49° east of north (or 41° north of east). "S 70° W" indicates a bearing or direction of 70° west of south (or 20° south of west). Lewis and Clark gave their compass bearings in terms of quadrants or quarters of the compass: 90° from north to east, 90° from east to south, 90° from south to west, and 90° from west back to north. Today, azimuths are often stated in terms of 360°, the full circle of the compass rather than quadrants. A modern statement of the azimuth of "S 70° W" would be 250°; degrees are always counted in a clockwise direction from compass north.
--John Logan Allen