Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Jellies who live in the southern hemisphere: do your maps have south at the top of the page? All: do you set your GPS to maintain north at the top of the screen?

Asked by JLeslie (54496points) August 17th, 2012

First part of my question I am guessing north is always at the top of maps, but have no idea really.

As to the second part, I think most people have the map spin around so the pointer makes it so your car is always driving “up.” I usually make the map stay static with north at the top.

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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

The convention is, no matter where one lives, to put north at the top.


Occasionally, for a novelty, people print upside-down maps.

Harold's avatar

Is this a serious question? No, we don’t live on the ceiling either!!!!!!!

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, it’s serious. Why is it not a logical question? Don’t your compasses point south? Water swirls the opposite direction?

Harold's avatar

Sorry, but all magnets point to the magnetic north pole. Compasses don’t suddenly change when you cross the equator. We do, however, drive on the other side of the road…..........

Nullo's avatar

Perhaps a better question: How were maps oriented in antiquity, if indeed the southern hemisphere bothered much with cartography?

DominicX's avatar

Lisa: Remember, in Brazil, they have winter during our summer.
Homer: So in August it’s cold and in February it’s hot?
Lisa: That’s right.
Homer: So it’s oppositeland! Crooks chase cops, cats have puppies!
Lisa: No, dad, it’s just the weather.
Homer: So hot snow falls up?
Lisa: :sigh: yes…

OT: Even when I’m driving, I want the GPS map always showing north up. Some people like it to face the direction you’re heading, but I prefer north up.

rooeytoo's avatar

North is north no matter where you live. I like my GPS to go up the screen no matter which direction I am going, I think it is easier to follow it that way (@DominicX, north up when I am going SE confuses me completely! I have to stand on my head to figure out if I am going to turn right or left!)

With regard to oppositeland, crooks do often chase the cops here! especially in the wild and wooly NT!

CWOTUS's avatar

A business associate from Argentina once showed me a world map that he had brought from there. Apparently you can find South-Up maps pretty easily there, and they’re not so much of a novelty, and they don’t say “Upside-Down Map” like a lot of the ones you can find printed in the north.

If you google upside-down map you can find plenty of them, but so many of them are actually titled that way, too, as if acknowledging that “we know this is wrong, but isn’t it funny?”

There’s no reason for it to be funny. In space, no one knows where “up” is.

PS: Unless they have only half a needle, which is a pretty tough thing to balance, compasses point both North and South.

JLeslie's avatar

@CWOTUS I said the same thing about space on another Q, and @Nullo pointed out the north star was used back in the day to call north north. Anyway, it made me wonder about this sort of thing.

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