The Metro map is a specific type of view available in the ArchiMate® model. It can be used to visualize (data) flows and processes in a business-friendly manner as a metro (underground/subway) map. Metro maps can be used to visualize existing objects and relations of type Flow and Triggering. You cannot create new objects and relations in a Metro map.

The Metro map has a canvas menu that includes options for showing/hiding the legend, laying out the entire view, or only the relations, and options for coloring.

For more information about the Metro map, see also the Bizzdesign blog How to use Metro Maps to Visualize Dataflow for a Business Audience.

Example of a Metro map

To illustrate the procedure to create a Metro map, the following example is used.


You want to create a Metro map of the following Business Function view. The view includes Business actors, Business functions, and Flow relations between them. In this view, the relations are all labeled. Labeling the relations can be useful if you want to color the Metro map relations based on their names. The view is shown below, the Metro map in the figure above is the result.


  1. Add a Metro map to your ArchiMate model and open the view: In the model browser, right-click the ArchiMate model or a folder in the model where the view should be placed, and then click New > Presentation > Metro map.

  2. In the model browser, click the newly created view to open it. An empty Metro map view is shown.

  3. Select all objects and relations you want to add to the Metro map and add them to the new view. To do this, open the view containing the objects and relations, copy the entire contents (Ctrl+A, then Ctrl+C) and paste it into the Metro map view (Ctrl+V). Alternatively, you can select the objects in the model browser and drag them onto the Metro map view. The relations between these objects will automatically be included. As mentioned before, only relations of type Flow and Triggering can be included.

    The objects and relations are now in the view, but they are still unorganized and the relations are in a singe color.

  4. To organize the elements in the Metro map, perform a layout. Click to open the canvas menu, and then click > Lay out view. The total view is now reorganized.

  5. Open the canvas menu again, and select > Lay out relations to perform an additional layout on only the relations in the view.

  6. Color the relations in the Metro map. Open the canvas menu, click and then click one of the coloring options:

    Color by name: The relations are assigned a color, based on their names (labels). Relations with identical names get the same color. Relations without a name remain gray (default color). The standard color consists of ten colors. If the Metro map has more than ten different relations, some relations will be assigned the same color, as can be seen in the legend.

    If you want unique colors for each relation, or want to use different colors, click a color section in the legend. Next, select one of the default colors, or click and select a different color.

    Color by attribute: The relations are assigned a color, based on the value of a relation attribute. Select an attribute, and the relations will be colored based on the value they have on this attribute.

    Use a fixed color: All relations in the Metro map will be presented in the same color. By default, all relations are displayed in gray. Select the color you want to show them in.

Basically, your Metro map is ready now. You can make further refinements to your Metro map like repositioning and formatting the labels, or removing "stations" from the map that you don't need. You can even change the size of the stations by selecting a circle and resize it.

Hiding the legend

If you do not want to show the legend, you can hide it by opening the canvas menu and clicking . Use the same control to show the legend again.

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