Don’t trust maps (with your life)

Image from MacObserver

There’s an arts management metaphor buried somewhere within the recent story about Australian authorities and Apple’s mobile map system. In brief, the computer company’s new (and much maligned) iOS mapping program was leading hapless Australian motorists into a dangerous wilderness, instead of to the town they were looking for. The frequent error led Australian authorities to issue a warning NOT to use the Apple maps, calling the error ”potentially life threatening.” Apple recently corrected the problem.

In an increasingly interconnected and abstracted world, there are all sorts of systems and networks we rely on to tell us where we are, and where we’re going: Foundations, national professional associations, consultants, bloggers (ahem), and other mavens of the modern terrain. It’s a wonderful thing, if we don’t give over our own sense of direction and place. Look around you. Ask the locals. If you appear to be careening into a desolate wilderness with no shade or water, consider revisiting the map — or tossing the map aside.

[My colleague Diane Ragsdale had many more wonderful metaphors about getting lost in the wilderness in this talk previously referenced on my blog. ]