Help EPA: We need a map!

We’re under a tight deadline to produce a map similar to the one at

To be clear, we just need a static image with rollovers that appear as you mouse over a state.  Not a Google-like map, not anything fancy or GIS-based.  Just an image that will show a little info and then let people click the state to go to a page w/more info about that state.’s map is done with Flash, but we want to do it using Javascript and CSS for easy maintenance and accessibility.

Got any ideas or examples to share?  Yours or other people’s?

We’ve got a mockup that’s quite good, but the little popup balloon appears in different places in different browsers.

Here’s an example of what’s happening.  I was pointing at Nevada, so the text is right, but obviously the balloon’s in the wrong place:

What’s interesting is that the balloon shows up in different places in IE, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.  Apparently, mouse tracking works differently across browsers.



4 Responses to “Help EPA: We need a map!”

  1. 1 Mike Walsh January 20, 2011 at 1:54 am

    DevSeed has some unique solutions in the geospatial mapping space. Contact Eric Gunderson at if interested. I am sure he would be interested in helping out.

  2. 2 David Lantner January 21, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Here’s how I would do it. Create a client-side image map followed by a list of each state and its corresponding info (the tooltip details). In addition to the “alt” attribute for each AREA in the map, include the “aria-describedby” attribute containing the “id” of the list item for that state. Then, bind a function to the “mouseover” and “focus” events of each AREA to position and show the tooltip layer and use the AREA’s “aria-describedby” attribute to copy the content from the list into the tooltip layer. Bind “mouseout” and “blur” to hide the tooltip layer. Many tooltip scripts (e.g., plugins for jQuery) allow you to specify which content to display; instead of grabbing the “alt” or “title” attributes, pass in the “aria-describedby” attribute instead.

    This way, the image map is keyboard-friendly and users of assistive technology can use the map with at least basic functionality (links). Plus, if the user’s AT understands WAI-ARIA, the tooltip information will be announced while navigating the image map.

  3. 3 Jeffrey January 22, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Hey, thanks for the ideas! Much appreciated!

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