Maps communicate to our brains in a different way from text.
I used your "picture is worth a thousand words" line yesterday. In fact I told them that if a picture was worth 1000 then a map is worth at least 5,000. Also, I've not been on the board as much lately as this is the busy season for traveling and teaching.
As happens so often we disagree again. Surveyors and Cartographers were drawing maps long long before we had to try and educate lawyers about land law. When I prepare a map for most clients it has little or nothing at all to do with educating lawyers. Instead it has everything to do with communicating important information to the client.
I agree that maps communicate in a way that is different than plain text. In fact I will go so far as to assert that maps communicate with a different part of the brain.