NASA's Dueling Concept Maps, Road Maps, and Infographics

As you can see below, there is no shortage of roadmaps and graphical representations of where NASA should be going in the coming years. To be certain, concept maps, roadmaps, and infographics are different things. Done properly, they serve a similar, overlapping function: to contain a series of things you need or intend to do, and present these things in a way that allows others to understand what it is you want to do - and why. A good roadmap or concept map should be easy to make into a good infogrpahic. But if your roadmap is not well thought out, or your concept map has incomplete logic, then your infographic is going to be confusing.

If you cannot explain what NASA is going to be doing on, say, a full page ad in the Washington Post, then I would submit, you do not know what you are doing. These are all good first attempts, but the fact that NASA produces so many variants of a roadmap - instead of one singular concept - of where it is going, points to a lack of a clear plan on the part of NASA.

NASA Infographic: The Future of Human Spaceflight, NASA

"NASA has released a new infographic which seeks to collect future space vehicles, destinations, and possible paths of exploration together into one "Big picture".

The Global Exploration Roadmap - Interactive Edition, NASA

"Influenced by 1950s Disneyland designs, video game visuals, and Peter Pan Neverland maps, we hoped to describe the complexity of international space projects with simple highlights. We began development of the Global Exploration Roadmap infographic by describing it as a treasure map of sorts."

NASA's "We Explore Space" Concept Maps, NASA

"We are pleased to notify you that the human space exploration project you graciously offered your time and expertise to support has been completed and is being released to the public at this very moment! You may launch into the "We Explore Space" concept maps from the NASA website."

Global Exploration Roadmap Released, NASA

"NASA is releasing the initial version of a Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) developed by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group. This roadmap is the culmination of work by 12 space agencies, including NASA, during the past year to advance coordinated space exploration."

Another Exploration Roadmap to Consider (Paul Spudis)

"Develop a space transportation system using existing assets to the extent possible, build new reusable vehicles to transit cislunar space, develop lunar resources with the aim of propellant production, emplace staging nodes in LEO (use existing ISS), geosynchronous orbit (GEO), Earth-Moon L-1, low lunar orbit (LLO) and on the lunar surface."

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