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An Everyday Example of Architecture Documentation: Subway Maps

White Paper
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.

Software Engineering Institute


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.