Road signs
Perhaps the most common arrows. There must be billions of them out there.

I like chevrons, and I don’t know why. Below, an Australian example.

The exact spot
Making accurate maps of Britain in the mid-twentieth century required these “minor revision points.” Precisely-located arrows that acted as fixed points for revising maps. Elaine Owen (who works for the Ordnance Survey) came across an archive of photographs at Manchester’s Central Library. She’s published thousands of them on Timepix, a work-in-progress website that geo-locates historic images.

The Golden Arrow
A classic luxury train that ran from London (Victoria Station) to the English Channel ferries at Dover. Pulled here by “Tangmere,” a Bulleid Light Pacific locomotive.

I just happen to have a Hornby model of another one of the Battle of Britain Class locomotives in my studio.

Air Mail
In the 1920s, a system of about 1,500 beacon towers, standing on huge arrows, directed aircraft carrying mail across the United States. The arrows were originally painted bright yellow. Several of them still exist, although many are gradually eroding back into the landscape. This one is in Utah, about 80 miles north of the Grand Canyon.

Photograph: Dppowell.

Here’s a preserved example of the full setup at Newark Heath Airport in Ohio (about 55 miles from where I’m sitting).

Image from Google Street View.

A London tourist sign points to eight destinations.

Photograph: Source