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Image Maps

Image maps allow an image to have defined clickable areas or ‘hotspots’. These hotspots are defined in the <area> element using coordinates for geometric shapes. The hotspots are navigated by keyboard users in the order in which they are defined in the source code. The order should be logical – usually either left-to-right, top-to-bottom or alphabetically. Because these hot spots provide functionality, every <area> element must have a descriptive alt attribute. The main image may require alternative text if it conveys content that is not conveyed through the individual <area> elements. For example, a map of the state of Utah with hotspots for each county would likely be given alt=”Map of counties in Utah”.

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