When's the last time you used an imagemap?

posted by Jason Kottke Feb 13, 2004

When's the last time you used an imagemap?. Just wondering if there's any reason to still use them.

Reader comments

NazFeb 13, 2004 at 11:03AM

I still use them. I have this vague guilty feeling for doing so, especially in recent all CSS-design and hoopla, but I like using them for navigation, especially when it gets hefty to slide and dice images or when I want to keep correct positioning with CSS when I'm not using a table.

helenjaneFeb 13, 2004 at 11:03AM

Mr. Robertson posted an interesting reason to use them in A List Apart a few weeks ago.

Plus, it seems that HR always wants one of those clickable US maps for some thing or another. Grin.

barlowFeb 13, 2004 at 11:30AM

The real solution here is just to redraw USA state lines along a rectilinear grid, then we can just slice up the map. Rivers be damned!

benFeb 13, 2004 at 11:35AM

I use em to make prototypes / wireframes more interactive, and to give clients a better idea of how users will move through the site.

And of course the usa map

Jason WallFeb 13, 2004 at 11:39AM

We still use them for getting coordinate info from geo application, and i use them when linking my logo's back to the home page.

ChicagoTexFeb 13, 2004 at 12:09PM

I still update one of mine from time to time on an old page that I still run from a few years back, but mainly only because I'm too lazy to design more graphics. But, yes, to be truthful, about a week ago I was wondering why you don't see them anymore.

MattFeb 13, 2004 at 12:22PM

Dio rocks imagemaps. I still use them once in a while when I'm too lazy/it saves time or doing it via CSS seems impossible. It's still valid HTML.

timFeb 13, 2004 at 1:05PM

I love it that the author thought "Imagemap Help Page" needed an acronym.

Pete LaskoFeb 13, 2004 at 2:28PM

Sometimes its just easier to do it that way.

Bee MindfulFeb 13, 2004 at 3:10PM

I use them whenever it's faster.

RyanFeb 13, 2004 at 3:45PM

I use them as a last resort if I'm in a bind - I hate 'em though for basic navigation stuff... I think the last time I used 'em was about a year ago or so...

TimFeb 13, 2004 at 5:19PM

I use them for rapid prototypes, or click through demos. Comps rendered as JPGs and image maps save a lot of time.

BenjyFeb 13, 2004 at 5:26PM

I have to use them every week on my company's site.

ReaganFeb 13, 2004 at 7:29PM

I used one a few months ago to implement a genome browser for a course. When you need to implement a clickable map in a short time fram, and it needs to be dynamically generated, client side image maps work fairly well. Plus basically every browser supports them without any tweaking.

tomFeb 14, 2004 at 12:08AM

they are mighty useful when you need them. are they bad?

jkottkeFeb 14, 2004 at 5:34PM

No not bad, but I have noticed their decline in use in recent years and was just wondering if that was a real trend or not.

garooFeb 14, 2004 at 8:10PM

I had to use one last month, for a small clickable map. But I hadn't used image maps in quite a few years---can't actually remember the last time I had made one. I guess nowadays anything that requires fancy clickable zones is likely to also require some interactivity, and be made in Flash.

GordonFeb 16, 2004 at 1:21PM

Flash?! Please no!

staceyjoyFeb 17, 2004 at 12:27PM

I love them, and still use a big one on my portal page. While I've never designed for print, my design style is more print than web, and they come in handy for quick coding. Why discard any technology that still works?

Michael MontoureFeb 18, 2004 at 4:56AM

I have one on seablogs.hellbent.org, the Seattle weblog portal; it's a map of where bloggers are in the Seattle area, based on their GeoURL data. I have a Perl script generating both the image and the imagemap, and I have to immodestly say I think it's pretty nifty-keen.

brandonFeb 19, 2004 at 1:55AM

I still find them useful when doing something like a "staff photo" or something similar where you would click on each individual person to locate their profile. For example... http://www.njis.org

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.