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#1
François Goulet

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I'd like to know what's your idea about the North Arrow orientation on a map (and I'm not talking about "pointing North", d'uh! ;) )

I reconsidered what I was teach about the North Arrow looking at that map http://www.canadainfolink.ca/que.jpg

We can see that the North Arrow is pointing north at its location and if it was placed near Blanc-Sablon at the extreme East, it would have been rotate some 15-20° ccw to fit the North direction there (because it's a conic projection, the North orientation change obviously depending on your location on the map). A lot a people is doing that.

At school, the Cartographic tech told me that the North should always be the one of the center of the map http://www.francoisg...m/18e_60-61.jpg
On this example, the center of the map is somewhere in the Great Lakes area so the North is oriented according to this location. No matther where I would have place my arrow, the orientation wouldn't have change.

I did the same on this one: http://www.francoisg...ltasMonde_1.jpg
The center is approx. where the Mississippi River is named so the orientation of my arrow is depending on it... If I would have follow the grid where my arrow is placed, it would have been almost horizontal...

What do you think? Should I go and have a little chat with "my" old tech about misguiding me?? ;)

Thanks all!

#2
DaveB

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We had a bit of discussion on similar issues in a recent thread here about mapping standards. In my opinion the north arrow could be left off when you have a graticule, and probably should be left off if the map covers a large portion of the earth and has a projection where north isn't in the same direction over the entire map.
It looks wrong to me when the north arrow doesn't align with the graticule (unless it's pointing to magnetic north).
Dave Barnes
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Product Engineer
Map Geek

#3
François Goulet

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We had a bit of discussion on similar issues in a recent thread here about mapping standards. In my opinion the north arrow could be left off when you have a graticule, and probably should be left off if the map covers a large portion of the earth and has a projection where north isn't in the same direction over the entire map.
It looks wrong to me when the north arrow doesn't align with the graticule (unless it's pointing to magnetic north).


I agree and I don't add an arrow when I put graticule, except when the client demands it... But then, what do I do? Placing it as is it was at the center of the map made sense to me, but I know it looks weird when it's not parallel to the graticule next to it (like in my historical map).

#4
rudy

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My "favourite pet peeve again! See the previous discussion for my humble opinion.

#5
François Goulet

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My "favourite pet peeve again! See the previous discussion for my humble opinion.


And which "North" do you prefer? ;)

#6
Mike H

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except when the client demands it... But then, what do I do?



If the client demands it, put it where the client demands... often an unfortunate byproduct of client-driven work. All you can do is educate them about north arrows contradicting graticules and see what they say.

Personally, I avoid using north arrows unless the map is not oriented north. Most north arrows are far too dominant, graphically, and most don't need to be on the map at all. It's an old-school convention that can be contested in many cases, and one of the [fun]damental aspects of cartographic rules is you can always find a situation to break them. That is information overload for most cart classrooms, but something that working cartographers are often challenged with.
Michael Hermann
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