Reciprocal space mapping can be efficiently carried out using a position-sensitive x-ray detector (PSD) coupled to a traditional double-axis diffractometer. The PSD offers parallel measurement of the total scattering angle of all diffracted x-rays during a single rocking-curve scan. As a result, a two-dimensional reciprocal space map can be made in a very short time similar to that of a one-dimensional rocking-curve scan. Fast, efficient reciprocal space mapping offers numerous routine advantages to the x-ray diffraction analyst. Some of these advantages arc the explicit differentiation of lattice strain from crystal orientation effects in strain-relaxed heteroepitaxial layers; the nondestructive characterization of the size, shape and orientation of nanocrystalline domains in ordered-alloy epilayers; and the ability to measure the average size and shape of voids in porous epilayers. Here, the PSD-based diffractometer is described, and specific examples clearly illustrating the advantages of complete reciprocal space analysis are presented.