Thinking about Maps and Charts

I’ve recently been reading books that have to do with geography and maps. The Power of Place – Geography, Destiny, and Globalization Rough Landscape by Harm De Blij, The Island of Lost Maps – A true story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey.

When I was a young child, my parents had a collection of the Ordnance Survey Maps, highlighting many parts of England and Wales in one inch to one mile scale.  One of my favorite part of travel is in the preparation of the trip. For me this includes studying the maps and geography of different places so I have a sense of scale and what I might see.

Over the years we have used many AAA maps to help plan our trips.  Today, we now go first to Mapquest or Google Earth, to prepare for our trips and still  I appreciate bringing along a paper map. One never knows when the GPS will fail.

So what does map making and charts have to do with client communications, productivity and time management?

1) Know where you are at all times

2) Know where you want to go

3) Be observant and you will see many things

4) Making geographical comparisons is interesting, but sometimes you just need to enjoy the view

5) Plan for your adventures, you are likely to enjoy them more

Want to know even more about maps and charts? Visit The Map Room blog to get interesting and quirky information.



Filed under Books to Read, Communication Strategies, Creativity, Knowledge, Productivity, Terms, Thinking

3 responses to “Thinking about Maps and Charts

  1. Fabulous post, Terry. I LOVE MAPS, and would never rely on GPS or Mapquest to get anywhere. The biggest/longest “professional argument” I’ve ever had was with my OA (Organizing Assistant). I requested that she carry a full set of AAA Bay Area maps in her vehicle 24/7. She ignored me due to being a 25 year old whiz kid who’s been using a computer since she was 18 months old, and thinks Google has existed before Adam & Eve. She resisted, I insisted, we debated/battled for almost a year. Then one day her computer malfunctioned AND her cell phone battery died, and she couldn’t find the client address, so missed an appointment due to NO MAPS!!! I gave her exactly 30 minutes to get her butt to AAA for ‘paper’ maps, or she would NEVER work with Rossow Resources again. Period. Non-negotiable. End of story.

    • Great story Mary. Our family GPS has occasional dead times – usually at the time we need to take an important turn. Having a paper map available has also been very helpful. Thanks for your comments.

  2. Fred

    Just to contribute a little more to the discussion here that Mary started. The advantage of paper maps is not just that the power could fail, although that’s a powerful advantage (accidental pun there). It’s also that the paper maps give you a general, continuous, over-all overview of where everything is, and how everything is geographically interconnected, rather than just the little limited specific view of where it is that you want to go. To put it another way, you’re browsing the map and find other interesting things along the way. Also, I’ve used mapquest and found that the instructions are unworkable. Someone forgot to input into the program that such and such a street has a termination somewhere – which you would have noticed with a paper map. The “manual” method and thinking for yourself and some advantages over our increasingly automated world.

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