Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Friday 27 November 2009

Maps give us the bigger picture

A picture says more than a thousand words and a map more than any other illustration. The newspaper this morning showed these two maps from the Netherlands. One from 1860 and one from today. They tell a story. Red dots tell about urbanization. That was what the article was about. But there is more: the white spaces tell us about the closing of inland seas, the Rhine delta and the reclamation of land. Where Schiphol airport is situated now, was a lake in 1860. Dark green spots tell about increased afforestation and the emerging conservation ideals. Light green areas tell about the disappearence of waste lands of dry peat and sand dunes. Around the turn of the century Holland had to cope with desertification. A photo illustrates an example or informs us about a detail. Maps tell the whole story, show the dynamic of change and give us the bigger picture. In communication for change: use maps!

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