The specific location on the planet, which is generally known as the North Pole, is known to be the direction of true north. Because of land masses and the fact that the poles on the Earth like the North and South are not changing, true north is fixed, constant, and is always in the same place it has been.
On a map, true north is very important for the sense of direction and from which latitude and longitude lines extend themselves. Without true north, there would be no way of telling where the North and South Pole lie on the map, resulting in major confusion.
Image courtesy: boatsafe.wordpress.com
The direction of north to which the needle of a compass points is known as magnetic north. This magnetic north is flexible and does not remain constant due to its changing nature, resulting in the need to constantly update maps after a certain number of years.
Magnetic north is not the same as true north because it is not land based and the two have never been at the same location. However, at one point in history, they have been approximately 500 or so miles apart, which is the closest that they have ever been.
Image courtesy: seekingtruenorth.com