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Basically, remap is a feature to rename topics, node names and some special keys of ROS env. You can see in this page what you can remap, like a node name (__node), namespace (__ns), log file (__log), etc.

Example: I've a node that publishes Twist messages in a topic called turtlebot_vel, but my robot listens to cmd_vel

You can remap using rosrun command, like this:

rosrun my_pkg turtlebot_vel:=cmd_vel

Or inside a launch file (ref):

    <node pkg="my_pkg" type="" name="my_node">
        <remap from="turtlebot_vel" to="cmd_vel"/>