In the picture below, north arrow should be placed, however it's unclear how to do it since north pole is also in the picture.

Please advise on the arrow placement and position, hopefully with reference to gis practices.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Why do you want a North Arrow? Wouldn't it be easier to just place a Point Symbol and label the North Pole?
    – Pointdump
    Mar 9, 2023 at 22:08

4 Answers 4


At https://www.gislounge.com/to-north-arrow-or-not-to-north-arrow/ they write that one should consider, amongst other things, this:

Would adding a north arrow help with understanding the context of the area you are showing in your map?

I would argue it would not, rather adding longitudial lines would. Those lines converge at the north pole and thus show where the pole is and where north is relative to every real world location on the map.

  • 2
    Also adding some parallels of latitude would help give an idea of position, scale and direction.
    – Martin F
    Mar 10, 2023 at 23:41

In this case, you should not use the north arrow, but you should use a reference geographic grid. The grid (sometimes called a graticule) contains meridians of longitude, which pass through geographic north pole, and parallels of latitude, which show points of equal distance to the pole. The grid would serve as positional, directional and scale reference.

  • 1
    Welcome to GIS SE. I hope you don't mind -- i fleshed out your answer a bit and made minor correction: geographic N = true N, separate from magnetic N.
    – Martin F
    Mar 10, 2023 at 23:49

Why one arrow only?

Feel free to add more!

enter image description here


You would not put a north arrow on this map since north is different depending on where on the map you are.

  • True, but this is more of a comment than an answer. With you rep, you ought to know that we favor substantial answers!
    – Martin F
    Mar 10, 2023 at 23:42

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