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Duck-Billed Platypus
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:04 am    Post subject: Map orientation... Reply with quote

Does anyone know why on a map North is always on top and South on bottom?
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PowerFactor
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because somebody hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of years ago decided that's the way it should be, and it stuck. :wink:
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pianosaurus
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The convention came a few centuries ago when Northern hemisphere, European navigators started using the North star and the magnetic compass. Before that, the top of the map was to the East which is where the word orientation comes from.


http://www.flourish.org/upsidedownmap/
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PowerFactor
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wondered if it had something to do with looking up at the north star.
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PowerFactor wrote:
I wondered if it had something to do with looking up at the north star.

Yupp. But I guess it is convenient to have a world standard too.
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beejay
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting fact may be, that star maps are always mirrored along the East-West-Axis (so that north is on the bottom and south on the top). The Purpose for this is, that you can put the map over your head and directly compare the map to the sky.
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Albert_Alligator
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that my map's orientation is homotablula, but I won't hold it against it! 8O
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porodzila
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think that with north up the map would get top heavy and fall over. It also looks a lot nicer with south in the top.
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lamaistres
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it has to do with a compass.
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porodzila
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lamaistres wrote:
I think it has to do with a compass.


How does a compass keep the maps from falling over.
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fernandotcl
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was made that way so that Europeans could see themselves on the top. Now it doesn't make sense anymore.
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porodzila
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And there is the fact that most land is in the northern hemisphere.
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fernandotcl wrote:
It was made that way so that Europeans could see themselves on the top. Now it doesn't make sense anymore.


Not true (see my first post). It has to do with holtding a map and facing the north star. Besides, because of magnetic compasses, it's practical using either north or south, so it still makes at least 50% sense.
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Bush adminstration and Halliburton were in it just for oil.
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