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“Magnetic” pole locations on global charts are incorrect



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.

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