Browse Prior Art Database

Feedback of Previous Traversal of Link Within Image Map Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030027D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jul-23
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jul-23
Document File: 2 page(s) / 35K

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Proposed is an extension for browser support of HTML Image Maps which provides visual indication of visited link status.

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Feedback of Previous Traversal of Link Within Image Map

In hypertext software systems such as HTML on the World Wide Web, 'hyperlinks' are commonly used to allow users to link to additional information. Usually these links are textual. It is standard practice to color text links different colors based on whether they have already been 'followed' yet or not. For instance, in the following example, the words 'Real Estate' are colored blue, which usually means that link has not yet been visited, whereas the word 'Classifieds' is colored purple, which usually means it has already been visited:

It is also common practice to utilize images as links in HTML. The fact that an image is 'clickable' (i.e. is a link) is usually conveyed by changing the mouse pointer when it is hovered over the image, from (normally) an arrow to (usually) a 'hand' with an outstretched finger. (Incidentally, such feedback is also used when the mouse pointer hovers over a text link.)

Further, current state of the art empowers a Web developer to include 'image maps' as part of the source material available to end users. Image mapping allows a developer to divide up the image area such that each section created has its own URL associated with it.

As an example let's visualize an image of the USA. The developer might use the power of image mapping to subdivide the image into 50 regions, one per state. Then an end user could click in 'Nebraska' and perhaps see a page open that extolls the virtues of the cornhusker state. Of course if he clicks on a different state, a different page would be seen, with content tailored to the state. With current state of the art, the user might click on (say) 8 states, and be given absolutely no feedback as to which states he has already clicked on.

We propose that the browser provide the user with...