At touristic vantage points, one can sometimes find engraved metal discs that show the bearings and distances to other visible places like mountains in the area, or to far away cities and places. An example would be the plaque found in Sabah on Borneo:

Image taken from "Expedition to the Center of Sabah" on MySabah.com

Is there a term for these types of discs?

On the blog I linked to, the author uses the term 'metal “compass” plaque', but that's not really accurate, since the marked points aren't "points of the compass" in the sense of divisions of the cardinal directions.

A Google search for "metal plaque distances bearings" or "engraved disc distances directions" or various combinations of those strings doesn't turn up relevant results. The image shown above was found using Google Image Search with "metal plaque directions distance", which also turned up a couple of other images of examples, but no authoritative sites that would be helpful in finding a proper term for these discs.

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    Other European languages (French, Dutch) call this something like “orientation table” but it does not seem common in English. “Panoramic table” also brings up some results on Google Books but nothing really conclusive. – Gala Aug 29 '14 at 21:53
  • If these aren't literal landmarks, I wouldn't be sure what one was. – SrJoven Aug 29 '14 at 22:24
  • It is just a disc with a particular type of inscription. There's no common word for such things outside of specialized jargon. – Oldcat Aug 29 '14 at 23:16
  • @oldcat: I'd be happy with specialised jargon. Do you know the technical term for these types of discs? – Jake Aug 30 '14 at 9:07

The answer is topograph or toposcope. Noun topograph (plural topographs)

Wikipedia has an article on: Topograph A monument erected in a high place, such as a hilltop, indicating the direction and distance of notable landscape features which can be seen with the naked eye from that point. Synonyms toposcope

  • That's it, thank you very much! It seems like there's a slight difference between the terms: toposcopes show only visible places while topographs also include places further away, though that distinction is not consistently made. – Jake Dec 3 '14 at 13:53

According to Waymarking.com, which has photos of 474 such items, they're called orientation tables (as Gala notes in a comment beneath the poster's question).

The one for Rotary Park Lookout in New South Wales, Australia, seems very similar to the one that the poster includes as an example, but the category also includes tables that reproduce geographical features as a map, consist of photos and descriptions, or do multiple things at once.

Consequently, there may very well be a narrower term than orientation table for a disc-shaped orientation table that limits itself to identifying sight lines to various destinations and features.

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