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Image Map

Definition - What does Image Map mean?

An image map is positional information XHTML and HTML which has details of coordinates related to a unique image. Unlike a normal image link where the entire area of image is linked to a single destination, an image map is created to hyperlink sections in image to different destinations. Image maps provide a convenient way of linking different sections of an image without the need to create image files for the image.

An image map is also known as a clickable image map.

Techopedia explains Image Map

Image maps are used on both the server side and client side. Server-side image maps aid the web browser in sending the positional details to the server when the user clicks a section of an image. It also helps the server to determine pixel-by-pixel content and what it needs to return in response to user actions. Client-side image maps do not need any special logic to be executed on the server or JavaScript. Image maps can be created manually with the help of a text editor. However, it requires HTML programming knowledge for web designers and is also very time consuming and labor intensive.

Applications are available for creating image maps easily and quickly such as KImageMap Editor. Image maps are widely used on many websites; however, they can cause accessibility issues. Hence, they should be used only in appropriate places.

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