Better understand DataMaps – a Google Maps analogy
We have seen unbelievable transformations as our lives get more digital but one of the most fascinating and rapid transformations in recent years is how Maps have changed. Saying Rand McNally or AAA in the context of a road trip is like saying Blockbuster and Hollywood in the context of watching a movie. Things have come a long way from the days of static maps and atlases. The Google Maps app on our phone provides a great analog for what Meru is doing with DataMaps.
We could think of the old paper maps as a static representation of physical information. In retrospect, these maps were not very user or driver-friendly. You could zoom from country level to city or, at best, a segment of the city level (downtown map insets for example) but that would require using separate maps of different scales. You could plan a route from starting point to the destination and get some information about things along the way. But it was hard to figure out where you were on the map. Taking a wrong turn or misreading directions would require some effort to correct. Similar examples of static DataMaps could be a listing of the systems in your organization maintained by the Procurement department, a configuration management database, or a schema description for key databases. There might be richer descriptions of architecture and setup for individual systems, especially for the key systems that guard the crown jewels (akin to the downtown inset map). However, all these are often disconnected point-in-time representations with no easy ways to reconcile differences, maintain or even use. This is not by any stretch of the imagination a true DataMap.