Definition of an Image Map

Image maps are graphics in web pages that have specified areas containing links often called hotspots or hot regions to other websites (URL's), they are sometimes called clickable maps. Snell (2001) describes an image map as an 'inline image containing multiple links, each of which is activated when the visitor clicks a different area of the image'.

Not long ago it was claimed image maps had a reputation for being difficult to produce and slow to download. Pilant, (1999) suggests they have now become a fairly standard feature in web sites as they offer effective visual appeal and special functionality. Ragget, (1993) implies; image maps are an important feature of the point-and-click interface that makes the World Wide Web so popular.