The four cardinal directions or cardinal points are the directions of north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials: N, E, S, W. East and west are at right angles to north and south, with east being in the direction of rotation and west being directly opposite. Intermediate points between the four cardinal directions form the points of the compass. The intermediate (intercardinal, or ordinal) directions are north-east (NE), south-east (SE), south-west (SW), and north-west (NW).
On Earth, upright observers facing north will have south behind them, east on their right, and west on their left. Most devices and methods for orientation therefore operate by finding north first, although any other direction is equally valid, if it can be reliably located. Several of these devices and methods are described below.
Read more about NSEW: Additional Points, Usefulness of Cardinal Points, Beyond Geography, Germanic Origin of Names, Cardinal Directions in World Cultures, Unique (non-compound) Names of Ordinal Directions, Order of Directions, Non-compass Directional Systems