An image map is an inline image, either a GIF or JPEG file, in which hotspots have been defined. A hotspot is an area in the image that works as a link—click on the hotspot and the object of the link is activated. The object of the link can be anything that can be linked to (for example, a Web page, a graphic, a sound file, and so on). Although you can create your own image maps by counting pixels to map out hotspot coordinates, it is much easier to use an image map editor (or image mapper). There are many inexpensive or free image map editors available on the Web:
Mapedit at www.boutell.com/mapedit/ (Windows, Macintosh, Linux/$10).
CoffeeCup Image Mapper at http://www.coffeecup.com/image-mapper/ (Windows/$20).
Cute Map at www.globalscape.com/cutemap/ (Windows/$19.95).
Map This! at www.abdn.ac.uk/tools/ibmpc/mapthis/ (Windows/freeware). Exports MAP element codes, but you have to manually insert the USEMAP attribute in the image's IMG element.
Mapper at www.calles.pp.se/nisseb/ (Macintosh/freeware).
IMM (Image Map Maker) at mac.tucows.com/preview/206187.html (Macintosh/freeware).
imaptool at www.sspitzer.org/imaptool/ (Linux/Unix/freeware).
Image Maps at webdesign.about.com/cs/imagemaps/. Includes a guide to creating image maps from scratch, without using an image map editor.
Figure D.3 shows an oval hotspot area drawn in the Map This! image map editor.