The Science of Where is our tree. Data feeds the trunk. The leaves, the flowers, and its fruits are understanding. Understanding precedes decisions and actions. We map to achieve such an orchard of understanding.

Richard Saul Wurman, with Jack Dangermond and Esri, has created a new publication to realize some useful patterns, often idiosyncratic. These patterns—some numeric, some graphic, some visual, some comparative, some conversational, and some computational—allow us to understand the world around us.

UnderstandingUnderstanding is eclectic, as was the TED conference that Wurman created in 1984. It explains the diversity of patterns of understanding. All maps are patterns that give us the ability to perceive. This capacity is the seed of the GIS and information architecture thinking revolution created by Dangermond and Wurman 50 years ago. Below is a list of contributors to this new book, each of them contributing their particular method of understanding.

Sample of Table of Contents—The Last 7 Chapters
Sample of Table of Contents—The Last 7 Chapters

Selection of Contributors

Richard Benson
Former Dean of Yale School of Art

David Blaine

Juan Enriquez
Academic, Businessman, and Author

David Ferrucci
Team Lead for IBM’s Watson

Ben Fry
Data Visualization Expert

Kai-Fu Lee
Computer Scientist

Frank Gehry

Milton Glaser
Graphic Designer

Nigel Holmes
Graphic Designer

Steven Johnson
Author and NOVA Host

Jon Kamen
CEO of

David Kelley
Founder of IDEO

David Macaulay
Author of How Things Work

Peter Menzel & Faith D’Aluisio
Photographer and Writer/Editor

Walt Mossberg
Former WSJ Columnist

Nathaniel Pearlman
Political Technology Consultant

Stefan Sagmeister
Graphic Designer

Vaclav Smil
Policy Analyst and Author

Lara Stein
Creator of TEDx

Geoffrey West
Theoretical Physicist

For more information on UnderstandingUnderstanding, head to There you can read about the contributors and view the full table of contents.

UnderstandingUnderstanding | Harcover | 708 pages | 10″ x 10″ | Retail: $75 | Available on Amazon July 15, 2017