Elements are defined as the basic building blocks of Regional ITS Architectures, and used to describe a system or piece of a system. Specifically, Elements are represented in Architecture diagrams by the boxes that are exchanging information (through Interconnects and Information Flows). In the case of the Maryland Statewide ITS Architecture, Elements represent collections of hardware, software, data, processes, and people that work together to achieve a common goal within the overall Maryland transportation system.

The Maryland Statewide ITS Architecture includes two types of Elements: Specific Elements and Generic Elements. A Specific Element is a unique physical facility, typically owned and/or operated by a specific agency or organization. An example is the Maryland Transportation Authority’s Authority Operations Centers (AOC). Specific Elements are used where the facility is readily identifiable and where Interconnects and Information Flows can be reasonably well defined.

Generic Elements represent multiple physical facilities that are similar, and are of a type often owned and/or operated by several different agencies or organizations. An example of a Generic Element is Local Transportation Management Centers (TMCs). Some Generic Element descriptions also include a list of the specific facilities that would be part of this Element. Here again note the Generic Element Local TMCs below and the list of specific facilities accompanying this Element when the hyperlink is clicked.

By checking the relevant Elements in the Architecture, an agency planning an ITS project can help determine whether all relevant stakeholders have been involved in the planning process.

The Architecture Elements are listed below: