Definition of mapping?

Subject: Definition of mapping?
From: Geoff Hart <Geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 15:41:47 -0400

Nana Kato wondered <<in what situation "map" (verb)
is used>>, based on the following quote from Adobe's
PDFMaker manual: "The Heading-to-Bookmark options
group allows you to control how Word heading styles are
mapped to PDF bookmarks."

In broad terms, a map is any abstract representation of the
relationship (physical or conceptual) between two things that
are physically different but conceptually the same. The
geographical maps that appear in atlases are probably the
most familiar form of map, and they represent the relationship
between a two-dimensional image of the world (which shows
mostly positions) and the complex, three-dimensional real
world. These two things are obvously physically different (the
printed map is small, flat, and undetailed, unlike the real
world), but conceptually the same (both can be defined in
terms of the relative positions of their components). In the
specific example you cited, the map shows the relationship
between the heading styles in Word and the bookmarks that
replace them in Acrobat PDF: these two things are physically
different (e.g., printed headings can't be clicked to take you to
another heading), but conceptually identical (both show the
start of a new chunk of information).

<<I looked in my computer terms dictionary and "mapping"
is defined as such: The process of converting data encoded in
one format or device to another format or device. As stated
above, "map" seems to mean applying something to an
appropriate position by means of a particular algorithm. Is my
understanding correct?>>

You're mostly correct. In this case the "appropriate position"
part is misleading, since it's not the position of the heading
(e.g., at the top of the page) that is important, but rather the
function of the heading (to identify the starting point of a
section of information).

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"The ability to speak does not make you intelligent."--Qui-Gon Jinn

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