On some maps, charts or navigation compasses we can see a circular diagram with diamonds linked together. It is the Compass Rose, an internationally recognized symbol in the nautical world. With this representation reference is made to the direction of the winds.
An instrument that for centuries has been of great use to browsers and is still in use today
Features multiple divisions to show wind direction. The most general includes the four cardinal points: north, south, east, and west (each allows you to divide the horizon into 90-degree sectors or quadrants). Between each are another four side divisions separated by a distance of 45 degrees (northeast, southeast, southwest and northwest). Among the latter, there are eight other collateral courses located at a distance of 22.5 degrees (north-northeast, south-southwest, west-south-west, among others). With these divisions and subdivisions it is possible to identify a total of 32 directions associated with the wind direction (for example, in the Mediterranean the northeast direction corresponds to the gregarious wind and the northwest to the mistral wind). Compass Rose
In this way, the circumference of the horizon is taken as a reference and by looking at the Compass Rose it is possible to know the direction the wind takes. At the same time, this diagram makes it possible to identify north as a reference for other navigation directions.
It is also useful to know the wind speed in a specific place , to locate wind turbines or to prepare wind atlases (in all these cases the Rose of the Winds serves as a reference support).
The first references appear in the 14th century
For centuries, navigation techniques were very precarious, as navigators did not use navigation charts, did not have advanced cartographic information, and lacked precise technical instruments to locate themselves at sea.
From the 14th century onwards, there was a qualitative change due to the use of two advances: the compass and cartography (the compass was invented by the Chinese around the 6th century, but arrived in the West much later). Compass Rose
One of the more specific navigation charts was the portolans, which had a compass rose design . The creator of this diagram of wind direction is believed to be the Majorcan philosopher and scholar Ramon Llull.
Currently, this symbol is very present as an ornamental element in port areas. Finally, NATO employs this representation as an anagram. Compass Rose