The definition of isomorphism has two conditions. In this section we will consider the second one, that the map must preserve the algebraic structure of the space. We will focus on this condition by studying maps that are required only to preserve structure; that is, maps that are not required to be correspondences.
Experience shows that this kind of map is tremendously useful in the study of vector spaces. For one thing, as we shall see in the second subsection below, while isomorphisms describe how spaces are the same, these maps describe how spaces can be thought of as alike.