I frequently see these two words in 3D programming. For example:
the direction of the directional light
the orientation of camera
So, what’s the difference between them?
I think that the words are very similar, but there is arguably a subtle distinction.
The word direction suggests movement. While it may refer to a static object, it describes it as if it were or could move toward the described location.
The word orientation seems to connote that the object is static and there is no suggestion of movement. As noted in a comment to this post, it is a relationship to the environment.
There are many cases where either could be used, (even a paraphrase of one of the examples under direction)
However, there are many when only one or the other will do.
A substitution probably could be made, but it would call for a more convoluted sentence.
In 3D geometry you can represent the orientation by a line and the direction by a Euclidean vector (an arrow).
Orientation means "direction of a thing". For example,