Cover Image for Ordered Map C++

Ordered Map C++

The C++ std::map container from the Standard Template Library (STL) is used to implement an ordered associative container. It stores key-value pairs, where the keys are sorted in a specific order, typically in ascending order by default. The std::map is implemented as a balanced binary search tree, which ensures efficient insertion, deletion, and retrieval of elements while maintaining the order.

Starting from C++11, the std::map has been complemented by the std::unordered_map container, which is implemented as a hash table and provides faster access times for many operations but doesn’t guarantee the same ordering.

Here’s how you can use std::map in C++:

#include <iostream>
#include <map>

int main() {
    // Define a map with int keys and string values
    std::map<int, std::string> orderedMap;

    // Insert elements
    orderedMap[3] = "Three";
    orderedMap[1] = "One";
    orderedMap[4] = "Four";
    orderedMap[2] = "Two";

    // Iterate through the map (elements will be ordered by keys)
    for (const auto& pair : orderedMap) {
        std::cout << pair.first << ": " << pair.second << std::endl;

    // Find and print an element by key
    auto it = orderedMap.find(2);
    if (it != orderedMap.end()) {
        std::cout << "Element with key 2 found: " << it->second << std::endl;

    return 0;

In this example, the keys in the std::map will be sorted automatically as you insert elements. The output will show the elements in ascending order of keys.

Keep in mind the following points when using std::map:

  • Elements are stored in a balanced binary search tree, which ensures efficient insertion, deletion, and search operations with a logarithmic time complexity.
  • If you need to maintain insertion order, you can consider using std::unordered_map from C++11 onwards or std::map with a custom comparator in earlier C++ versions.
  • You can provide a custom comparator function to change the sorting order or to sort based on custom criteria.
  • Be aware that maintaining order can come with a performance cost compared to unordered containers like std::unordered_map.

Remember to include the <map> header to use the std::map container and related functionalities.


The Tech Thunder

The Tech Thunder

The Tech Thunder