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Going Live

Take the time to think through your implementation of an image map. Although the consequences of applying an image map are few and far between (and minor at that), you will find there are always disadvantages and advantages of applying one means over the other.

The advantage of using an image map for the navigation bar is that only one image must be created, thereby easing your file management. Disadvantages exist as well. First, cutting the one image into smaller pieces will cause the page to download faster, despite the fact that the total data size of the images is equal in both cases. This is a result of the fact that browsers can download images in parallel, so one 40k image will take longer to load than four 10k images. Second, using an image map in place of separate linked items hinders the author’s ability to create efficient and dynamic rollover effects. A rollover replaces one image for another, so to apply a rollover to a hot spot would result in the entire image swapping for another.


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