<map>: How do you use the <map> element to structure and organize a collection of DITA topics?

Using the <map> Element in DITA for Structuring and Organizing Topics

The <map> element in DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is a crucial component for structuring and organizing a collection of DITA topics efficiently. It acts as a roadmap, allowing you to define the hierarchy, relationships, and sequencing of topics within your documentation project. Here’s a detailed overview of how the <map> element is used:

Defining the Document Structure

The primary role of the <map> element is to define the structure of your DITA document. It serves as the root element for organizing topics and can contain various child elements like <topicref> to reference individual topics. By specifying which topics are included and their order within the <map> element, you establish the document’s logical flow and hierarchy.


Here’s a simplified example of a DITA <map> element:

  <title>Pharmaceutical Product Manual</title>
  <topicref href="introduction.dita" />
  <topicref href="manufacturing-process.dita" />
  <topicref href="quality-control.dita" />
  <topicref href="regulatory-compliance.dita" />
  <topicref href="conclusion.dita" />

In this example, the <map> element structures a pharmaceutical product manual with various topics in a specific order. It serves as a high-level container for organizing the document.