One thing that's always fascinated me about navigation is that even in highly edited and reviewed publications, it's common to find educated and thoughtful people mixing up east and west. My rough estimate is that at least 1% of references to east and west in print media are backwards. The trivial occasion for this observation is this article by San Francisco Chronicle architecture reviewer John King about the possibilities of parkland associated with the new San Francisco bay bridge.
The elements that meet at the west edge of the bridge, transportation and industry, are every bit as central to our region as the scenic hills and bay. ...
He's definitely talking about the east end of the bridge, in Oakland. The west end is downtown San Francisco, and there's no longer much industry there.
But I've never, ever seen a journalist mix up north and south.
Me, I never mix up either one. My brain is nailed to the compass. I can't imagine what it would be like to imagine, even for a distracted instant, that the Oakland end of the Bay Bridge is the west end. I can't even imagine how certainty about north and south could co-exist with vagueness about east and west. I mean, if you can figure out north, then face north! Now wave your right hand! East!
Or do people who mix up east and west also mix up left and right?