SMT007 Magazine

SMT007-Oct2020

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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2020 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Roadmaps: Driving Into the Future Show anyone an image of travelers in the middle of nowhere, with a roadmap spread out across the hood of their car, and it's clear that they are lost. It's a universal symbol for a driver off course, consulting a map as a last resort. The implication is that roadmaps are only useful in an emergency. This conclusion gives roadmaps a bad repu- tation. Roadmaps are navigational and predic- tive tools. Sure, they're also critical instruments when we find ourselves lost. But seasoned trav- elers and navigators use those maps to plan the journey, identify the milestones along the way, and know how to check that everything is still on course and on schedule, even when life throws obstacles in their path. During a lecture I attended, Edward R. Tufte, a professor of statistical evidence and infor- mation design at Yale University [1] , shared an observation that Napoleon Bonaparte was so very successful as a military strategist because he had a unique gift for reading maps. Tufte suggested (and I'm paraphrasing liberally, using 20-year-old memories) that Napoleon's ability to visualize the three-dimensional real- ity of the terrain based on the 2D topographi- cal representation meant that he could march, shelter, provision, and position his armies more expertly than his opponents. According to Tufte, Napoleon was a master of reading roadmaps. With the unanticipated obstacles and changes in our lives that we've all faced and endured in 2020, I've thought almost daily about roadmaps, keeping a journey on track, and Tufte's anecdotes about Napoleon. If you

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