Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Give me a map and I'm Magic!




Some years ago I've envied a sticker that a friend had in it's car with this phrase that I always liked a lot.

Having in it self some mysticism it's very meaningful and describes the essence of Orienteering - the map! All the rest is just a complementary accessory to this enchanted object.

The map is magic for it's achievement potential but also for the immeasurable amount of information that it contains. If instead of using this pictorial way of representing the terrain we choose to write it in words it would take several volumes to host all the information included in a simple map.

It would be a cyclopic task to try to write down the complexity of an intricate terrain or a mazy of stones and rock faces of a mountain area with all the relations of direction/distance and respective height.

And all this information is available to the initiated in this witchery with a simple glance. There is no need to look for the correct page we just have to follow our thumb.

It's truly magic to be able to go strait to "that" stone in the middle of other thousands of identical ones!

It's sensorially magic to move in high speed in nature knowing exactly where we are on the map (it still is when we don't know)!

It's comfortingly magic to be at an unknown terrain and feel at home in the cosiness of the map!

It's meltingly magic to share the smile on a child’s face when she manages to match the map with the terrain!

If information is power each of us is a titan with a map on the hands and shiny eyes!

As a mapper I feel really privileged for being a builder of enchantments and I dare to go further and rephrase it to: Give me a blank paper and I'll give you magic!

Luís Sérgio

PS: When I wrote this “daydream” I was a professional mapper, but since February I have embraced an enterprise management challenge. Anyway Orienteering and mapping still makes my heart tic faster...


[You can see HERE the original article]

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