Directions Spell out directions in the text: in the northeast of the map area .. Directions are not capitalized when spelled out but always are when abbreviated (NE ESE). Compound directions are not hyphenated (northeast, east northeast, north by east). Avoid naming more than the eight cardinal compass directions; only old-time sailors know the 128 compass points. Refer to more precise directions by angle from north (132°), or less commonly S48°E. (For the latter, give the bearing from north or south, whichever is closer, not east or west, except when the direction is directly east or west.) One direction defines a scalar quantity: the fault trends northeast not northeast - southwest. The second is redundant. Directions are always given with respect to True North (the North Pole) unless expressly with respect to magnetic or grid (UTM) north. Directions are given from a reference (the observer): an easterly current of water is flowing toward the east. Exception: an east wind is blowing in the opposite direction: from the east.