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An Everyday Example of Architecture Documentation: Subway Maps

November 2009 White Paper
Paul C. Clements

This white paper explores the idea that subway maps provide a good, common example of architecture documentation and that they might be instructive about good software architecture documentation.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Instiute

Abstract

This white paper stems from an observation by the SEI's Paul Clements that

. . . subway maps are very good everyday examples of architecture documentation. A subway system architecture isn't a software architecture, for sure, but it's certainly an architecture. I started wondering what parts of our Views and Beyond approach to documentation I could recognize in a subway map and the associated pieces of information the public can find in a subway station.