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Local north

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Dennis McClendon

Dennis McClendon

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Charles Syrett, from the Photoshop thread:



Re "north at top": Most of my business comes from commercial real estate, and I always use "local north", which is almost never true north! In Toronto, it's 17 degrees. Montreal, more like 50 degrees. These are locally perceived norths, and people shopping for properties don't necessarily appreciate being "corrected" with true north.


On the other hand.....it may be that 20 years from now, online data-driven mapping will be so much the default that local norths will have become an anachronism. We'll see.  :huh:



I'm glad you brought up local north, a tradition that the slippy map world seems ready to discard.  Ignoring "Manhattan north" certainly makes the world harder for New York smartphone users to navigate, not easier.  Philadelphia has a local north that's ingrained in local tradition.  Chicago's local north is only 1.6 degrees, so it just makes the standard slippy map look like a sloppy map.


The optimist in me wants to say this is a problem that can and will soon be corrected.  It's just a matter of programming, right?  The realist in me then points out that I said the same thing about GIS being able to have curved linework.  Twenty-five years ago.

Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics

Charles Syrett

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I've actually seen some curved type on interactive maps, though certainly not a lot of it; the Arc map engine comes to mind. And you can certainly change north on Google Earth (and maybe on others as well), but the labels go along for the ride.


Well. As long as the programmers want to keep north "true", and labels straight, I suppose we'll have lots of business, right Dennis?

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics

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