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A New Map

Jay Cuthrell
July 8th, 2017 · 1 min read

Perhaps you’ve heard a phrase regarding conscious choice and decisive action. 

Perhaps, in the days before maps were built into your mobile phone you found yourself going somewhere and wondered why you didn’t bring a map.

Now, remember that feeling… the feeling of not having a map to guide you. 

The Path from Portland to Austin

Please set aside 20 minutes to watch this OSCON 2015 keynote talk entitled “Situation Normal, Everything Must Change”. The video is embedded below for your convenience.

Don’t worry. There are no ponytails, no neck beards, no flip flops… Just a solid introduction to mapping with a healthy dose of style and humor. The speaker, Simon Wardley, is worth following over at his blog Bits or pieces?

Granted, there are a few dated references but the video holds up quite well even now in 2017. Bookmark it. Share it with others.

Laying it on pretty thick

One of the other map references I make is to introduce the concept of boundaries. Why? Well, whenever a corporate cartographer activity is set in motion, there is a tendency to forget not just position and movement — but also time in transit.

Just because you have created a map, you must constantly remind your peers and yourself that the map is not a static concept. Also, it is rarely an exhaustive treatment of that concept.

But don’t take my word for it. Instead, consider the lessons of the beloved 1995 movie “Tommy Boy”.

Indeed, sometimes even if you have a map… you need to get yourself a new map.

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