A compass is a navigational instrument for
finding directions on the earth. It consists of a magnetized pointer free to
align itself accurately with Earth's magnetic field, which is of great
assistance in navigation. The cardinal points are north, south, east and west.
Pictured below are two different
types of compasses. The compass at left is a Brunton compass used by
geologists and others for many specialized mapping purposes. On the right
is a more common type of compass used for general orienteering and some mapping