I am making a map book over a large area and want to add a correct declination arrow for every page. I have not found a way in ArcGIS to make a declination arrow (in 10.3). I could make my own using two north arrows but I don't want to have to change it for everymap along the book. Is there a way to do this?

  • Can you include a description and/or picture of a declination arrow, please?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 23:12
  • @PolyGeo a declination arrow is just a line/arrow showing the angle of magnetic north, often in conjunction with a line showing true north. Since declination changes over time as well as distance, it can be a pain to show. Donitza, I don't have a specific solution for you, but there are a lot of promising results to investigate from a Google search on "data driven pages declination". In particular blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2010/03/19/… and geonet.esri.com/thread/63407
    – Chris W
    Commented Dec 12, 2015 at 18:47
  • There is one important, fundamental design decision to consider though. If your north arrow is part of the page layout, then that element must be some sort of dynamic element that can read a property of the dataframe/index elements. Somehow the declination value has to be present as an attribute of the ddp index. If the north arrow is actually part of the data though, you could do points, symbolize them with a marker/graphic, and give each point the declination attribute, rotating the symbol by that attribute. In that case the north arrow is independent of ddp.
    – Chris W
    Commented Dec 12, 2015 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


I was able to use the Create Declination Diagram tool with the Production Mapping Extension. http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=dd664ce915214390b8cb8babb09a84bd. However, Chris W in the comments above was correct to state that it is now a part of the ddp index and is uniform with each page. I'm not entirely sure what he is explaining in the comment of how to make the element dynamic and independent of the ddp, but that is the next step to consider.

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