Enterprise Cartography

Enterprise Cartography is a term that was coined based on what is behind the idea of Cartography (from “drawing maps”)

The fundamental problems that traditional cartography tries to solve are:

Represent (map) a real world object – in our case the enterprise.

Eliminate irrelevant characteristics of the mapped object to the purpose – this is fundamental to represent the organization in a relevant and useful way.

Orchestrate the elements of the map to best convey its message to its audience – fundamental to understand what each audience expects and needs from each representation.


We have added to these concerns a few others that need to be addressed to provide accurate and useful information to key players in the organization:

  • Represent the organization in its present, past or foreseen states, according to planned and pipeline projects
  • Assure that the information needed to produce organizational maps is adequately aggregated and consolidated.

So what is the difference between Enterprise Cartography and Enterprise Architecture Modeling?

In Enterprise Cartography, Blueprints are generated based on information gathered from different sources within the organization, such as Excel files, Xml files, EA tools, organization catalogues or other structured sources of information, so, any changes to that information , can be immediately represented and, therefore, the accuracy of Enterprise Cartography blueprints are only dependent on the information gathered. Further, by feeding information about current and planned states, meaning the artifacts that will be created or decommissioned by foreseen projects, then Cartography also allows a representation of organization´s transformation step by step.

Even though Enterprise Cartography blueprints can be depicted in different notation, notably in a modeling language such as ArchiMate®. It differs from EA Modeling because the former is focused on representation whereas the latter is focused on the design of the Enterprise. This makes a huge difference, since modeling is a creative, handmade activity with a drawing canvas and using a pen/mouse to draw. Design models must also be manually updated and maintained to reflect changes that occur over time, even when such changes were already documented elsewhere.


In this section we present a blueprint corresponding to Archimate Layered viewpoint, that was generated gathering information residing in different systems: business information from Software AG Aris Platform®, Services from Oracle Enterprise Repository®, System information from IBM Rational Systema Archiect® and infrastructure information form EasyVista® CMDB.

Layered view

Context blueprints

Cartographic Blueprints

Enterprise Cartography

Layered view – can be parameterized with different layers and is interactive allowing to hide show relevant relationships.

Enterprise Cartography is a different approach for organization representation because:

Enterprise Cartography produces maps that both business and IT can understand and use to better communicate between them. Its blueprints hide the complexity of modeling languages, while full details are still available for experts, just a click away.
For example, in the blueprint below one shows the artifacts that hold some dependency with the subject (the Handle Claim Business Process)in the center. This process has dependencies with 3 business services, one business Rule, 2 projects – one completed (in green) and one on-going (in yellow), uses five application services, uses 11 information entities and is triggered by Customer as business role.






Context blueprints – Identifies Components, relations and process structure of an artifact

Another example is the Application Context Blueprint. Below we present the context of the Cam pain Management Application (CMA), representing the several business Processes supported by CMA, the Information Entities accessed by CMA, the platforms required to support the execution of CMA, the applications that consume and provide information to the CMA and finally the projects that have done some changes in CMA (green means concluded projects, yellow means on-going projects and red refer to projects that have not started yet).

A drill down on the Campaign Management Application shows the applications components and the platforms each component runs on.

The Application Integration blueprint, presented below, shows the services that a given application provides to and consumes from and the data objects implied in such integrations.


Cartographic Blueprints are as accurate as the information that is available in the organization. When using modeling tools, on the other hand, a strong investment in effort is needed, to reflect the changes that are scattered through different sources in the organization.

Cartographic Blueprints are able to show present states as well as future and past states of the organization. Our blueprints have a time slider that allows seamless navigation in time.


Consider the Application Landscape blueprint (Application Organic) presented below, where applications are presented and grouped by some functional hierarchical Logic.


Now let us consider that, the information gathered, contains production and decommissioned dates of each application, regardless of being past past, present or future dates. This would automatically allow the navigation in time where unborn applications are represented in gray and decommissioned applications are set to red, according to their states in the time set by the time bar. Changes are also traced back to projects accountable for that change, in this case creating and decommissioning applications.

Time travel function as implemented in EAMS


Enterprise Cartography is complementary to EA, since its focus on providing an adequate, useful and up-to-date representation of the organization, without the effort of data gathering, reducing costs and effort, facilitating EA Governance, Planning and Operation, and therefore, fundamental in the success of any EA project.

Besides the examples of blueprints presented above, we support on the fly generation of many other blueprints such as all Archimate viewpoints, each with the time bar allowing to see how it changes over time.

Where does the Enterprise Cartography concept come from?

This concept has been developed by Prof Pedro Sousa (IST, Lisbon) in cooperation with Prof José Tribolet (INESC) and researchers from IST and Inesc/Inov team of Organizational Engineering, as a result from 10 years of applied research and business case experience.

Enterprise Cartography concept was first presented in keynote of IEEE Conference on Business Informatics Vienna, Austria, 2013 (click here) as a specific domain in Enterprise Engineering, side by side with Enterprise Architecture, even though the its underlying foundations were presented earlier , in “An Approach for Creating and Managing Enterprise Blueprints: A case for IT Blueprints”, in Albani, Barjis et al. (Ed.) 2009 – Advances in Enterprise Engineering III (click here).