Section 508 Compliance

HTML Coding Tutorial

Server-Side Image Maps

(e): Redundant text links shall be provided for each active region of a server-side image map.
Explanation: An "image map" is a picture (often an actual map) on a web page that provides different "links" to other web pages, depending on where a user clicks on the image. There are two basic types of image maps: "client-side image maps" and "server-side image maps." Most novice designers and webmasters of non-dynamic sites use only client-side image maps. Creation and use of server-side image maps requires advanced programming experience.
Importance: With client-side image maps, each "active region" in a picture can be assigned its own "link" (called a URL or "Uniform Resource Locator") that specifies what web page to retrieve when a portion of the picture is selected. HTML allows each active region to have its own alternative text, just like a picture can have alternative text.

By contrast, clicking on a location of a server-side image map only specifies the coordinates within the image when the mouse was depressed. The ultimate selection of the link or URL must be deciphered by the computer serving the web page.

Bad Examples

1.  Using a Server-Side Image Map

Good Example

1.  Using a Client-Side Image Map (or some other medium)

Do-It-Yourself Fixes

Server-Side Image Maps rely on a mouse being clicked, since server-side image map only specifies the coordinates within the image when the mouse was depressed, for navigation, users who cannot see the screen or use a mouse will not be able to access certain aspects of the web page.

At all possible, use Client-Side Image Maps. Never try to implement Server-Side Images Maps if you do not have to.