How to Use Landmarks & Not Compass Directions

How to Use Landmarks & Not Compass DirectionsCasual directions are given every day, and the use of landmarks, geographical features or places utilized by travelers to find their destination are often included in these written and verbal instructions. Directions using landmarks are beneficial to pedestrians, cyclists and anyone operating a motor vehicle. They're helpful to people in remote locations, small towns and large cities. Landmarks have proven helpful to the point that search engines often include them in map results.


Difficulty: Easy

Written Directions

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pen
  • Paper
Step 1
Search or ask for a layout of the area you're traveling to, distinguishing streets and pedestrian sidewalks. Make sure the map contains clear points.
Step 2
Look for your location on the map, or your starting point. If possible, make sure the map includes street names and intersections. Be careful if traveling in the dark because you can miss the landmarks guiding your trip.
Step 3
Find distinguishable features on the map near your destination, such as a large rock or wider path. Identify geographical features near your destination on the map, like hills and parks.
Step 4
Label the number of streets between your start and end points. Ask for directions, like right and left turns.
Step 5
Mark the end point, or your final destination, on the map. For reference, you'll want to know of any distinguishable landmarks directly surrounding it.

Verbal Directions

Step 1
Get precise instructions. The landmarks should guide you from point to point.
Step 2
Utilize sounds and smells as landmarks. Church bells ringing or a coffeehouse's smell can help a person move around more easily.
Step 3
Use distances, like feet, yards and meters, when possible.
Step 4
Pay attention to the sun's position for cardinal points.
Step 5
Confirm your directions on your way to the destination.

Article Written By Maria Fernanda Cartaya

Maria Fernanda began writing for publication in 2003. She has lived and experienced the outdoors in North and South America, Europe and Africa. Her work has been published in Spanish newspapers. She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in international relations and French from Syracuse University and speaks three languages. Maria is working on an international journalism Master of Arts from the University of Westminster.

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