If we see the earth from space, where is really "up" or "down"?
So how do we know where north is really? And why do we put it up?
The truth is that the north was not always at the top of the maps until a few centuries ago.
In general, north was not used as a reference point, since it means darkness. And even if the compass existed, it didn't mean that it pointed north at the top of the map.
In the case of China, compasses pointed south, as this was preferable to pointing in the dark. However, on the maps the north was placed at the top since the emperor lived there, therefore the people had to look up.
Kagnido map, 1402.
" In Chinese culture, the emperor faces south, because that's where the wind comes from , so it's a good direction. North is not very good, but you are in a position of subservience to the emperor, so you have look at it," explains historian Jerry Brotton.
Since each culture is different, it should not surprise us that each map was different. In Western culture, the east was used as a point of reference, since to the east was the promised city of Christians, Jerusalem.
On the other hand, the Muslims drew their maps with the south as the limit, since Mecca was located there and its cities, in general, were north of it.
Rogerian Table of Muhammad al Idrissi, drawn in 1154
If everyone had a different limit due to their cultures, when did they agree to put north as the cartographic limit?
In the fifteenth century many navigators, especially those heading to the "new world" began to use the North Star as a reference point. But this does not mean that they considered the north as the top yet.
It was with the map of our friend Mercator in 1569, where north began to be used as a stop and the word Atlas also began to be used.
With this, the idea that the north is "up" and the south "down" was consolidated over time.
So much so that NASA itself, when it took a photo of the earth in 1973, had to turn it around to the public so that it would not be confused.
This being the real photo, where we see that the north would be "down".
With space it is difficult to find a correct "top" or "bottom", and that is why astronomers comment that there is no particular "top", but it will depend on where you are looking at it.
That's why at Mappin we also got creative and we present our world map upside down, or not... it depends on how you look at it.
Information taken from: https://www.bbc.com/mundo/vert-fut-36632096