Authors are not going to think about image maps when they want
to use a complex image. If they want to use an image they will
It is illogical to require
img to be encased in an
imagemap in order to provide a long description.
Semantic elements and attributes improve communication. For details please consult the semantics document.
The semantics of an
not provide a clear, direct, explicit, and strong semantic for an
image long description. An
is a generic link.
Requiring image maps to supply long descriptions would introduce needless complexity.
This in turn would make it more prone to authoring error as complexity confuses and leads to
longdesc is a simple link - no coordinates
to figure out.
Programmatic determinability aids accessibility.
For a long text alternative provided through a link in an image
map to be exposed to assistive technology programmatically would
require a special marking on one area, such as a
longdesc boolean attribute.
Overloading the mechanism of image maps with that of providing long text alternatives clashes in the case that you need both, an image map and a long text alternative.
The fact is image map syntax only works on a limited subset of use cases. It is impossible for one link to take a user to two locations. It is not programmatically determinable when an image already has a link, which is mapped to go to another page or a larger image.
Expecting all images that need long descriptions to not have a different task unrelated to a long description is unrealistic. Attempting to force dual functionality into single functionality is unworkable.
No examples in the wild of accessible long text alternatives
imagemap have been presented for any of the
use cases. No evidence exists that authors have or will use for
accessible long text alternatives.
Any proposed solution should be easy for authors who are already
publishing content with
longdesc to retrofit their
imagemap possesses a radically
different authoring pattern than
longdesc. Because of
this, retrofitting with
imagemap would be difficult,
labor intensive, and error prone.
No tutorials, books, or documentation exists that explain to
authors how to make an accessible long text alternative with an
No evidence has been presented that an
produces more accessible content for long descriptions than
longdesc or that more authors would use it