November 20, 2006

Traffic Patterns

Design Patterns are everywhere. They haven't been invented for software engineering and they are not limited to this field. One example, that I have been thinking about sometimes are the patterns used to build exits and junctions on german freeways (Autobahn). Everybody knows the pattern and (almost) nobody wonders where to turn. Although the individual junctions differ in some parameters, the pattern is always the same. Sometimes you only realize that a pattern is used somewhere, when it is violated (as it is the case here). I read an interesting newsletter on the XING user experience forum about exactly this issue. The author shows that those patterns doesn't seem to exist on US freeways and makes his point clear with examples from Google Maps. Unfortunately, I don't know if the article is accessable without an XING (ex-OpenBC) account...

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