“Magnetic” pole locations on global charts are incorrect
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
©1996. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 77, Issue 36, pages 345–347, 3 September 1996
How to Cite
1996), “Magnetic” pole locations on global charts are incorrect, Eos Trans. AGU, 77(36), 345–347, doi:10.1029/96EO00237.(
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2011
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2011
For the past 40 years or more an error has appeared on the charts produced by major U.S. mapping organizations. The cartographers routinely mark a position in each hemisphere that they identify as the “Magnetic Pole.” For examples, see pages 73 and 86 of the Today's World: A New World Atlas, published by Rand McNally & Company in 1993, and The Earth's Fractured Surface, a chart published by the National Geographic Society in April 1995. The problem is that the word “magnetic” has become a generic term and the two words together can include at least three types of poles with greatly differing positions, depending upon their derivation. The most used pole position is certainly not the one indicated on the charts. Nor is the generally understood position actually the one that the cartographers are marking.