2019 AGIC Education and Training Symposium

Save the date!

October 1 - 4, 2019 at the Prescott Resort in Prescott, AZ

More info

You are here

Why is North at the top of our maps?

Given such a long history of human map-making, it is perhaps surprising that it is only within the last few hundred years that north has been consistently considered to be at the top.  Early European maps had east at the top (orientation is derived from orient, or east); Islamic maps faced south.  When maps changed to north-at-top is difficult to pinpoint, but it came relatively late in history.

Arizona Geographic Information Council © 2012. All rights reserved.