Map commonly mean either of two things: a diagram or pictorial representation of an area or concept, or a relationship between two items.
The most common usage is the former, as in cartography, including world maps, street maps, subway maps, and more. This usage also often refers to conceptual illustrations, including flow charts and mind maps.
Less common in general use is the concept of mapping one set of terms to another. For example, if “1” represents the letter “A”, “2” represents “B”, and so on, we can say we have a map, or a mapping of numbers to letters.
Of particular confusion is the common translation of assigning a drive letter to a drive or network connection. While typically not referred to as such in native English, many translations, and in fact several other languages, refer to this specifically as a “map”, and depending on the translation, Windows may have a “map” command in File Explorer. While this refers to the correct concept – mapping a drive letter to a drive or network location – it’s simply not commonly used in this manner. More typical usage is to “mount” or “attach” the drive and “assign” it a drive letter.« Back to Glossary Index