I have not told half of what I saw


Leonardo Loureiro

Rumor has it this phrase was said by Marco Polo to his friends in his last moments of life when they asked him whether he had exaggerated his adventures about travelling in East Asia or not.

Reading a book called "A Mapmaker's Dream: The Meditations of Fra Mauro, Cartographer to the Court of Venice", which talks about how maps were made in ancient times, Friar Mauro, who was very good at drawing and listening, went to the port of Venice to ask passengers about the routes they had taken; based on their descriptions of places and geographical facts he drew the map. With the power of active listening and the expertise of the draftsman excellent maps were achieved. He also compared similar descriptions and disregarded those that were not plausible.

He became such a prestigious man that many travelers were not only going to see him, but also, sought to share their knowledge about other latitude. They brought documents along from different cultures, and, with all these interactions they compiled a pool of knowledge that got richer with every visit.

He later gave the map to a new traveler to verify the accuracy of their descriptions and with their feedback, the latter was improved for greater usefulness

Remembering this, and the adventures of Marco Polo, I recalled the last trips I took. Last year to Silicon Valley, United States, and at the beginning of this year, to two of the main cities of China and even more recently to Paris, France.

I always summarize what I see in my travels, but what I later share through talks and blog posts or columns reminds me of the quote "I have not told half of what I saw". This happens because only with time are you able to process all of what you saw, heard and felt; and sometimes, not to be exaggerated, sharing knowledge with others makes you see mental connections between the different activities. That is the moment in which you realize that you did not tell half of what you saw, because sometimes you do not have the complete information on your mental map, much like the cartographer in Venice.

In the United States, many told me about several interesting activities they were doing, and when I carried out the proper abstraction I realized that Quanam was in the right path, already working on projects that combine Graphs Data Base, BigData and Artificial Intelligence to support the genetic analysis, taking the latter as an example.

Or seeing in China how a company like Baidu created a collaborative platform of Artificial Intelligence with multiple purposes, generating a space of co-creation that allows not only to work with autonomous cars but also with information processing using deep learing in parallel, all of them first line technologies, which could be used by different people from different Quanam units to create advanced solutions in order to help our clients achieve their own goals.

Finally in Paris, the union between the biological sciences and computer sciences became clear. I had read about it in several prestigious media publications such as the MIT Technology Review, which anticipated that the union of these two areas would generate greater changes in the future, but in experiencing it, as did Friar Mauro with the exchange of knowledge, with great specialists in BioTechnology, brought about more clarity to my mental map.

We in Quanam are working with the “B spaces” that allow us to consolidate these collaborative maps, which we are calling "B maps”, so that with the contribution of different actors we can all benefit from a new knowledge map.

I recommend you watch the TEDx presentation of the "explorer" Hazel Wagner:


Leonardo Loureiro @ljloureiro

MBA and Computer Engineer

International Business Development