at() is a new method for std::map in C++11.

Rather than insert a new default constructed element as operator[] does if an element with the given key does not exist, it throws a std::out_of_range exception. (This is similar to the behaviour of at() for deque and vector.)

Because of this behaviour it makes sense for there to be a const overload of at(), unlike operator[] which always has the potential to change the map.