Mapping, whether viewed from the perspective of cartography mathematics or cognitive science, is an act of translation—or, perhaps better yet, of transformation. A mapping constructs a relationship between two domains (sometimes referred to by theorists of conceptual metaphors as the “source” and the “target”); put differently, it generates a second codomain (as mathematicians name it) out of the potentialities of an originary domain, by establishing the conditions for metamorphosis. Mapping is, then, an inherently creative process, giving rise to novel entities and insights. Precisely to the extent that the map becomes the territory, mapping generates whole new worlds of image, symbol or text.
Virginia Burrus, “Mapping as Metamorphosis: Initial Reflections on Gender and Ancient Religious Discourses”, in Mapping Gender in Ancient Religious Discourses, ed. Todd Penner & Caroline Vander Stichele (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2007), 1.