3 December 2023

Humanity throughout history has always tried to innovate to evolve and explore new directions. For this reason, since ancient times geographical maps were invented to be able to locate themselves in different parts of the world. In the same way, this achieved the creation of the compass Rose, which has been modified to the present and implemented in the daily life of people when using maps.

Concept and definition of wind rose

It is a figure with a circular shape, where the different directions are marked. In this way, the circumference of the horizon is divided, thus having the North South East and west. The invention of the wind rose was attributed to the Mallorcan Ramon Llull, who took inspiration from flowers in natural history books, however, there are other records that indicate that his invention was much earlier.

For example, a copy of the wind rose was found in a nautical chart of the year 1504 which belonged to the Portuguese navigator Pedro Reinel. In other texts, its origin is located in the XIII century, appearing as geometric figures in Genoa, Venice and the town of Palma de Mallorca.

At first, the sailors used the rose in their notebooks, writing down the distances between courses and ports. However, the more importance the field of navigation and knowledge about the ocean became, the more its use by sailors increased. In this way, the wind rose came to have eight, ten or six points, to even thirty-two that are attributed to the different cardinal points.

Among the coordinate points are the following:

Divisions in four new points showing lateral headings of 45° degrees:

  • Northeast (NE).
  • Southeast (SE).
  • Northwest (NW).
  • Southwest (SW).

Finally, there are the divisions in four more points, indicating the collateral parts. We have the following:

  • North-Northeast (NNE).
  • South-Southeast (SSE).
  • North-Northwest (NNW).
  • South-Southwest (SSW).

What is the wind rose used for?

The main utility lies in guiding the sailors through the use of the cardinal points. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance in the navigation and positioning in terrestrial geography. However, when it was implemented together with the compass, it had a greater meaning at the time of its use. In this way, as an example of its use, we have the orientation in the winds for each cardinal point that it represents.

The wind rose is used in the mountaineering, hiking and staying grounded in the countryside. Due to this, it is very useful, since it helps with aspects related to coordination. Among these we find the following:

  • Locate the setting and appearance of the sun.
  • Determine the direction in which the wind is blowing.
  • Detail the flora and fauna of the location in order to locate.

An important fact to note is that if a wind rose is not available you can make a homemade one. It is a simple process where the use of the human body in relation to the sun is needed to represent the cardinal points. Having this ready, it is assumed that each part of the body is a point, which are distinguished as follows:

  • The front of the body is north.
  • The posterior or rear region then represents the south.
  • East corresponds to the right hand and the direction it points to.
  • Lastly, west is indicated by the left hand.

This is how the human body is used to create a homemade compass rose. We must bear in mind that this method is performed only when you don’t have a real one or some compass, so that the person can orient themselves wherever they are. Also, to orient ourselves, it is important to remember that the sun rises in the east.

Also a utility that is currently given to the wind rose is in the aeronautics. Facilitating in this way, statistical data that help to locate the direction of the wind in a certain place. Contributing to the construction of airports, as well as seaports and other important locations.

How does the wind rose work?

The main function of this instrument is to identify the direction of the wind well be:

  • For airplanes, during a routine or commercial flight.
  • In the immense sea while navigating and looking for a coordinate.
  • On hiking outings to stay located in the course that is being followed.

It should be taken into account that His primary job was to interpret nautical charts. Thanks to it, sailors managed to orient themselves while exploring the vast sea of ​​planet earth. Therefore, navigators must determine the course they were going to travel through the cardinal points that this instrument presented. From there, a numerical value or degree based on different criteria, among which we have:

  • Classically, the rose is divided into a circle with four sections and each at an angle of 90 degrees. Where zero corresponds to both north and south, it also marks eight destinations on the circumference. The heading north has an angle of 0° degrees or 360° degrees, due to this, clockwise creates an angle whose reference is no.
  • In the same clockwise direction, another bias is generated taking the north as the point and culminating in the south. In this way, you will have a variation that goes from 0º to 180º degrees. On the other hand, counterclockwise the same reference points are used.
  • The wind rose can be divide in clockwise direction in 6,400 parts different. For this reason, this course is called an indication in thousand angles or in thousandths of an artillery, starting from the north as zero degrees (0°).

In this way, each of these sectors of the nautical rose maintains a value depending on the direction of the wind. Because of this, we have the following:

  • North wind or Tramontana (N): from 337.5° to 22.5°.
  • Northeast or Gregal (NE) wind: from 22.5° to 67.6°.
  • East wind or Levante (E): from 67.5° to 112.5°.
  • Southeast wind or Sirocco (SE): from 112.5° to 157.5°.
  • South wind or Ostro (S): from 157.5° to 202.5°.
  • southwest wind, Milk or Garbino (SW): from 202.5° to 247.5°.
  • West or Poniente wind (W): from 247.5° to 292.5°.
  • Northwest wind: Mistral (NW): from 292.5° to 337.5°.

What are the characteristics of the wind rose?

This figure so useful in sailing It has different qualities that make it stand out. Among these are the following:

  • It helps point out the direction of the wind.
  • Locate based on the cardinal points.
  • Help create coordinates on maps thanks to orientation by degrees.
  • Mark the geographic north so that the sailors are located when navigating.

What color is the wind rose?

Different shades can be used for the wind rose, but the main one is silver. For this reason, in most maps this iconic figure of a silver tone is observed in the upper or lower part of these. In the same way, in the compasses it is found with said coloration.

Although in most ship roses the upper tip has a Red colorbeing the meaning of this the geographic north, we must take into account that this red color both in those present in maps and in compasses marks the same direction.

Wind rose on maps and compasses

The wind rose is the 32 point primary dial which in geography fulfill the function of marking different orientation points. Therefore, when fitted to a map, the points of the rose give the heading in degrees. Its most important use is nautical area, to navigate facing north in the geography of the earth.

As for its relationship with the compass, most of these have them printed inside. On the other hand, unlike the wind rose, the compass marks the magnetic north and not the geographic one. For this reason, some differences can be found between the flower and the compass. These differences are the following:

  • The nautical rose is used to know the wind.
  • The compass is used for geographical position and navigation directions.
  • The star of the winds indicates the geographic north.

Finally, the similarity between these two instruments is that both will serve for sailors to orient themselves at sea. Likewise, on the maps it can be located at the top or bottom of the same with its respective characteristic color.

What is the importance of the wind rose?

In the course of time, this figure has become a very useful instrument in nautical navigation. Similarly, it has become very important in aeronautics, allowing through detailed data Give directions and flight preferences. For this reason, the data provided is of great importance when used, for example, to find where to locate an airport or aerodrome.

It should be noted that it has been so important throughout history that it has been used mainly by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In fact, the four-pointed wind rose was given so much importance that it it was used as its main insignia or logo. Finally, we can conclude that thanks to the contributions in terms of utility, it has taken on great importance for humanity.

Why is it called the wind rose?

Its name has an origin that can be easily associated with that of a flowerhence its name as the Rose. Similarly, over time has received different pseudonyms, but they all lead to the same thing for which it was created. For this reason, its most important function in navigation is to express the course guided by the disposition of the direction that the wind takes.

Between the most important names that have had are the following:

  • Naval rose.
  • Rose of the wind
  • Wind rosette.
  • Star of the winds
  • nautical star.
  • Flower of the winds or wind.

Often the wind rose can be confused with the flower of lis But, these differ in that the flower is identified in nautical terms as “flower of the winds” and represents different ideas, such as:

  • symbol of power
  • Wisdom
  • Sovereignty
  • The honor
  • Loyalty
  • He finds himself met with royalty
  • The purity of soul and body

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