North Arrow

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North Arrow

North Arrow

A north arrow is a symbol that indicates the orientation of a map, drawing, or diagram. It shows the direction of the geographic north, which is the point on the Earth’s surface where the meridians converge. A north arrow can also show the direction of the magnetic north, which is the point where the Earth’s magnetic field lines point vertically downward. A north arrow can have different shapes and styles, depending on the design and purpose of the map, drawing, or diagram. Some of the common north arrow types are:

  • Simple north arrow: This is the most basic type of north arrow, which consists of a single line with an arrowhead pointing to the north. It can be placed anywhere on the map, drawing, or diagram, as long as it does not interfere with the other elements.
  • Compass rose: This is a more elaborate type of north arrow, which shows the direction of the four cardinal points (north, south, east, and west) and sometimes the intermediate points (northeast, southeast, etc.). It can also show the angle of declination, which is the difference between the geographic north and the magnetic north. It is usually placed at the corner or the center of the map, drawing, or diagram.
  • Grid north arrow: This is a type of north arrow that shows the direction of the grid north, which is the north-south axis of a coordinate system, such as the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) or the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS). It can also show the angle of convergence, which is the difference between the grid north and the geographic north. It is usually placed near the scale bar or the legend of the map, drawing, or diagram.
  • Decorative north arrow: This is a type of north arrow that has a decorative or artistic design, such as a feather, a star, or a sun. It can also have a historical or cultural significance, such as a fleur-de-lis, a cross, or a swastika. It is usually placed at the center or the margin of the map, drawing, or diagram.
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