An image map is an image that uses actionable “hotspots” or regions like links that can direct a user to various resources or perform an action. Image maps must have alternative text to alert users what resources the links will direct them to or what action will be executed when a hotspot is activated. The hotspots are determined using x and y coordinates. Within those coordinates, is a link or function that will be enabled when the user activates the hot spot.
Server-side image maps are used to identify images within an image map based on shape.
Client-side image maps allow users to map coordinates from the image map into the HTML page which can then be handled by the browser of a person viewing the page.
Design images maps in a way that allows users to navigate to all actionable regions of the image map while at the same time providing them with text alternatives to all these areas.
Why are image maps important?
Image maps increase the user’s interaction within the webpage. Ensuring accessibility will allow keyboard users, assistive technology users and other types of users to interact with the content.