I have issues with google maps on my Nexus 5 running Android 5.0.1

The position dot (my location) has a spiky side indicating my orientation. However it doesn't point the right way.

Let's say I am pointing north and I hold my phone un portrait mode, then the orientation info will point east (to my right), which would be the right answer if I was in landscape mode. Now if, while still pointing north, I hold my phone in landscape mode, then the orientation info will point west (to my right), which would be the right answer if I was in portrait mode.

As any one ever had the same issue ? Is there a know fix ?

  • I don't think you are interpreting the "spiky thing" correctly. It doesn't indicate direction, merely a pointer to your location as exact as possible at the tip. The balloon part of the pointer generally holds a "dot" indicating "you" and locates to the largest available area - centercreeen. I don't think any indication of direction is meant to be implied.
    – wbogacz
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 14:34
  • As far as I'm conserned my position has always be at the center of the dot. Futhermore, as I rotate my phone, the "spiky thing" rotates (by the same angle) while the dot doesn't move. Here is a commented screenshot : i.imgur.com/hB5JEgK.png
    – Amxx
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 14:50
  • I'm afraid the screenshot didn't explain the issue very well... as shown, it's indicating the direction you (the device) are facing. Could you instead take the screenshot on portrait and landscape, to reflect the real issue? Maybe there's a misunderstanding on the concept of "device direction" (which I very doubt)?
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jan 23, 2015 at 1:41
  • Portait/landscape is a 2D orientation and means very little without specifying the plane to which it is relative. The 3D orientation of your phone is rather important here; please specify. Commented May 1, 2015 at 0:50
  • When I said portrait/landscape i'm speaking about the screen aspect. At all time the phone was laying flat, parallel to the ground
    – Amxx
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 0:53

2 Answers 2


I've had devices get their compasses screwed up. Just re-calibrate and see if that fixes it: How can I calibrate the compass on my phone? If you have done that and its still incorrect do try it again in a different location, perhaps outside away from any metal just to be sure.


I believe the "spiky thing" you refer to is a little blue arrow, is that correct? If so, I think what it actually displays is your direction of travel (on the map). If you are standing still, it probably show your last known (or assumed) direction of travel.

This same issue confused me greatly when I got my first smart-phone, but I'm pretty sure what I stated above is how it is. You could try it by walking (or driving or riding a bus or train) while watching the map, and then your direction on the map should be shown, regardless of portrait or landscape display.

Let us know if this solves it for you.

  • 1
    At first I also tought it was my traveling direction. However, when i'm on the bus and I point in the traveling direction I've got the bad behaviour I pointed out. If I rotate my phone while on the bus, the arrow rotates as well. Last but not least, when standing still and rotating the phone, the arrow also rotates
    – Amxx
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 16:01
  • Does the map also rotate when you rotate the phone? The Google Maps app can be controlled to either let the map stay the same in relation to the phone, or to rotate relative to the phone in order to maintain correct orientation with the geography. It is in relation to the map that the arrow should point toward your direction of travel. For example if you are traveling north, the arrow should point north on the map. Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 17:12
  • 1
    I'm not that stupid ! It's set to have north on top regardless off everything else. If I set it to turn so that the arrow points up then I have the bad behaviour described previously makes my orientation/direction on the side rather then up
    – Amxx
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 17:57

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