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      1. 4.8.14 Image maps
        1. 4.8.14.1 Authoring
        2. 4.8.14.2 Processing model

4.8.14 Image maps

4.8.14.1 Authoring

An image map allows geometric areas on an image to be associated with hyperlinks.

An image, in the form of an img element or an object element representing an image, may be associated with an image map (in the form of a map element) by specifying a usemap attribute on the img or object element. The usemap attribute, if specified, must be a valid hash-name reference to a map element.

Consider an image that looks as follows:

A line with four shapes in it, equally spaced: a red hollow box, a green circle, a blue triangle, and a yellow four-pointed star.

If we wanted just the colored areas to be clickable, we could do it as follows:

<p>
 Please select a shape:
 <img src="shapes.png" usemap="#shapes"
      alt="Four shapes are available: a red hollow box, a green circle, a blue triangle, and a yellow four-pointed star.">
 <map name="shapes">
  <area shape=rect coords="50,50,100,100"> <!-- the hole in the red box -->
  <area shape=rect coords="25,25,125,125" href="red.html" alt="Red box.">
  <area shape=circle coords="200,75,50" href="green.html" alt="Green circle.">
  <area shape=poly coords="325,25,262,125,388,125" href="blue.html" alt="Blue triangle.">
  <area shape=poly coords="450,25,435,60,400,75,435,90,450,125,465,90,500,75,465,60"
        href="yellow.html" alt="Yellow star.">
 </map>
</p>
4.8.14.2 Processing model

If an img element or an object element representing an image has a usemap attribute specified, user agents must process it as follows:

  1. First, rules for parsing a hash-name reference to a map element must be followed. This will return either an element (the map) or null.

  2. If that returned null, then abort these steps. The image is not associated with an image map after all.

  3. Otherwise, the user agent must collect all the area elements that are descendants of the map. Let those be the areas.

Having obtained the list of area elements that form the image map (the areas), interactive user agents must process the list in one of two ways.

If the user agent intends to show the text that the img element represents, then it must use the following steps.

In user agents that do not support images, or that have images disabled, object elements cannot represent images, and thus this section never applies (the fallback content is shown instead). The following steps therefore only apply to img elements.

  1. Remove all the area elements in areas that have no href attribute.

  2. Remove all the area elements in areas that have no alt attribute, or whose alt attribute's value is the empty string, if there is another area element in areas with the same value in the href attribute and with a non-empty alt attribute.

  3. Each remaining area element in areas represents a hyperlink. Those hyperlinks should all be made available to the user in a manner associated with the text of the img.

    In this context, user agents may represent area and img elements with no specified alt attributes, or whose alt attributes are the empty string or some other non-visible text, in a user-agent-defined fashion intended to indicate the lack of suitable author-provided text.

If the user agent intends to show the image and allow interaction with the image to select hyperlinks, then the image must be associated with a set of layered shapes, taken from the area elements in areas, in reverse tree order (so the last specified area element in the map is the bottom-most shape, and the first element in the map, in tree order, is the top-most shape).

Each area element in areas must be processed as follows to obtain a shape to layer onto the image:

  1. Find the state that the element's shape attribute represents.

  2. Use the rules for parsing a list of integers to parse the element's coords attribute, if it is present, and let the result be the coords list. If the attribute is absent, let the coords list be the empty list.

  3. If the number of items in the coords list is less than the minimum number given for the area element's current state, as per the following table, then the shape is empty; abort these steps.

    State Minimum number of items
    Circle state 3
    Default state 0
    Polygon state 6
    Rectangle state 4
  4. Check for excess items in the coords list as per the entry in the following list corresponding to the shape attribute's state:

    Circle state
    Drop any items in the list beyond the third.
    Default state
    Drop all items in the list.
    Polygon state
    Drop the last item if there's an odd number of items.
    Rectangle state
    Drop any items in the list beyond the fourth.
  5. If the shape attribute represents the rectangle state, and the first number in the list is numerically less than the third number in the list, then swap those two numbers around.

  6. If the shape attribute represents the rectangle state, and the second number in the list is numerically less than the fourth number in the list, then swap those two numbers around.

  7. If the shape attribute represents the circle state, and the third number in the list is less than or equal to zero, then the shape is empty; abort these steps.

  8. Now, the shape represented by the element is the one described for the entry in the list below corresponding to the state of the shape attribute:

    Circle state

    Let x be the first number in coords, y be the second number, and r be the third number.

    The shape is a circle whose center is x CSS pixels from the left edge of the image and y CSS pixels from the top edge of the image, and whose radius is r pixels.

    Default state

    The shape is a rectangle that exactly covers the entire image.

    Polygon state

    Let xi be the (2i)th entry in coords, and yi be the (2i+1)th entry in coords (the first entry in coords being the one with index 0).

    Let the coordinates be (xi, yi), interpreted in CSS pixels measured from the top left of the image, for all integer values of i from 0 to (N/2)-1, where N is the number of items in coords.

    The shape is a polygon whose vertices are given by the coordinates, and whose interior is established using the even-odd rule. [GRAPHICS]

    Rectangle state

    Let x1 be the first number in coords, y1 be the second number, x2 be the third number, and y2 be the fourth number.

    The shape is a rectangle whose top-left corner is given by the coordinate (x1, y1) and whose bottom right corner is given by the coordinate (x2, y2), those coordinates being interpreted as CSS pixels from the top left corner of the image.

    For historical reasons, the coordinates must be interpreted relative to the displayed image after any stretching caused by the CSS 'width' and 'height' properties (or, for non-CSS browsers, the image element's width and height attributes — CSS browsers map those attributes to the aforementioned CSS properties).

    Browser zoom features and transforms applied using CSS or SVG do not affect the coordinates.

Pointing device interaction with an image associated with a set of layered shapes per the above algorithm must result in the relevant user interaction events being first fired to the top-most shape covering the point that the pointing device indicated, if any, or to the image element itself, if there is no shape covering that point. User agents may also allow individual area elements representing hyperlinks to be selected and activated (e.g. using a keyboard).

Because a map element (and its area elements) can be associated with multiple img and object elements, it is possible for an area element to correspond to multiple focusable areas of the document.

Image maps are live; if the DOM is mutated, then the user agent must act as if it had rerun the algorithms for image maps.