web Accessibility

Client-Side Image Maps - Checkpoint (f)

The law states:

"Client-side image maps shall be provided instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape. Client-side rather than server-side image maps should be used unless there are limitations in creating hot-spots in client-side image maps tools software."

Client-side image maps are images with clickable hot spots that act as links. Different links reside in different locations of the image. The browser sends users to different places depending on where users click. In order for a screen reader to tell users where each hot spot takes them, you should include alternate text for each hot spot.

The following is an example of a floorplan using an image map to define the hot spots. The red links are not text but are part of the image. Each hot spot has alternate text describing where the link takes the user.

Image Map Example


<img src="floorplan.gif" alt="Floorplan" width="254" height="264" title="Click the rooms to view their photos" usemap="#upstairs" />
<map name="upstairs" id="upstairs">
<area shape="rect" coords="104,44,148,71" href="familyroom.html" alt="Family Room" />
<area shape="rect" coords="179,54,237,82" href="bedroom.html" alt="Master Bedroom" />
<area shape="rect" coords="27,144,76,158" href="kitchen.html" alt="Kitchen" />
<area shape="rect" coords="25,195,68,223" href="diningroom.html" alt="Dining Room" />
<area shape="rect" coords="171,201,217,226" href="bathroom.html" alt="Master Bath" />

Testing Client-side Image Maps

For testing techniques and tools, refer to Checkpoint F (Client-side Image Maps) in the CSU Cal Poly Section 508 Manual Website Evaluation Guide found in theĀ Tools section of the Accessibility Compliance Guide.

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