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East, eastern, south, southern etc.
We prefer eastern, southern etc when we are talking about rather indefinite areas, and east, south etc. for more clearly defined places.
Capital letters are used at the beginning of East, Eastern, South, Southern etc when these come in official or well-established place names.
In place names, the use of East, Eastern, North, Northern etc is often just a matter of custom, with no real reason for the difference.
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