Javascript – How to pre-cache images for quick viewing with javascript


I have a webpage where I want the user to see a new image when they put thier mouse over a certain part of the image. I used an image map.

<img src="pic.jpg" usemap="#picmap" />
<map id="picmap" name="picmap"><area shape="rect" coords ="10,20,30,40"
onMouseOver="mouse_on_write('mouse is on spot')"
onMouseOut="mouse_off('mouse is off spot')"
href="http://www....html" target="_blank" />
<p id="desc"></p>

Where in the header I defined these functions:

 <script type="text/javascript">
 function mouse_off(txt)
 function mouse_on_write(txt)

It works, but it is slow. When the mouse is put over the second image it takes some few seconds to appear; my temporary solution was to drastically reduce the size of the images because they were huge (at 2.5mb they switch fast now, but still not seamless). How can I make the image switching more seamless without reduction in picture quality?
On second thought I realize that I could also just have both images displayed, at a small and a large scale, and on mouse over they would switch places; How would I do this? Would this reduce lag?

Best Solution

You don't need to create any page elements, it can all be preloaded using JavaScript:

tempImg = new Image()


If you have a lot of images, you can use the poor-man's multi-preloader:

preloads = "red.gif,green.gif,blue.gif".split(",")
var tempImg = []

for(var x=0;x<preloads.length;x++) {
    tempImg[x] = new Image()
    tempImg[x].src = preloads[x]