HTML Image Maps

With image maps, you can add clickable areas on an image.

Image Maps

The <map> tag defines an image-map. An image-map is an image with clickable areas.

Click on the computer, the phone, or the cup of coffee in the image below:

Workplace Sun Mercury Venus


<img src="workplace.jpg" alt="Workplace" usemap="#workmap">

<map name="workmap">
  <area shape="rect" coords="34,44,270,350" alt="Computer" href="computer.htm">
  <area shape="rect" coords="290,172,333,250" alt="Phone" href="phone.htm">
  <area shape="circle" coords="337,300,44" alt="Coffee" href="coffee.htm">
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How Does it Work?

The idea behind an image map is that you should be able to perform different actions depending on were in the image you click.

To create an image map you need an image, and a map containing some rules that describe the clickable areas.

The Image

The image is inserted using the <img> tag. The only difference from other images is that you must add a usemap attribute:

<img src="workplace.jpg" alt="Workplace" usemap="#workmap">

The usemap value starts with a hash tag # followed by the name of the image map, and is used to create a relationship between the image and the image map.

Note: You can use any image as an image map.

The Map

Then add a <map> element.

The <map> element is used to create an image map, and is linked to the image by using the name attribute:

<map name="workmap">

The name attribute must have the same value as the usemap attribute.

Note: You may insert the <map> element anywhere you like, it does not have to be inserted right after the image.

The Areas

Then add the clickable areas.

A clickable area is defined using an <area> element.


You must define the shape of the area, and you can choose one of these values:

  • rect - defines a rectangular region
  • circle - defines a circular region
  • poly - defines a polygonal region
  • default - defines the entire region


You must define some coordinates to be able to place the clickable area onto the image.

The coordinates come in pairs, one for the x-axis and one for the y-axis.

The coordinates 34, 44 is located 34 pixels from the left margin and 44 pixels from the top:


The coordinates 270, 350 is located 270 pixels from the left margin and 350 pixels from the top:


Now you have enough data to create a clickable rectangular area:

<area shape="rect" coords="34, 44, 270, 350" href="computer.htm">
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This is the area that becomes clickable and will send the user to the page computer.htm:



To add a circle area, first locate the coordinates of the center of the circle:

337, 300


Then specify the radius of the circle:

44 pixels


Now you have enough data to create a clickable circular area:

<area shape="circle" coords="337, 300, 44" href="coffee.htm">
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This is the area that becomes clickable and will send the user to the page coffee.htm:


Image Map and JavaScript

A clickable area does not have to be a link to another page, it can also trigger a JavaScript function.

Add a click event on the <area> element to execute a JavaScript function:


You can use the onclick attribute to execute a JavaScript function when the area is clicked

<area shape="circle" coords="337,300,44" onclick="myFunction()">
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