Map Icons/Map Icons Collection

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The goal is to have a set of public domain licensed map icons for general OSM use.


Lot's of icons needed to display OSM map features are already in the collection. You can get an overview of the currently available icons (page is updated infrequently).


There are currently six icon themes:

Theme Name Example Format Size Idea Comment
square big Lighthouse.square.big.png png 32*32 have a square shaped frame, where the color of the frame tells which category they belong to -
square small Lighthouse.square.small.png png 16*16 similar to the above(square big), only smaller -
classic big Lighthouse.classic.big.png png 32*32 (or smaller) normally no frames, no borders, transparent if you are unsure put your icons here
classic small Lighthouse.classic.small.png png 16*16 (or smaller) similar to the above(classic big), only smaller this theme is used by JOSM, some icons therefore have a white background to avoid the "black icon on black ground" problem
svg Lighthouse.svg.png svg scalable these are scalable vectorgraphics in svg-format often the base drawing for the square and classic icons
japan Lighthouse.japan.png svg scalable these are japanese map-sign, as found in openclipart and wikipedia low number of japan icons exists, compared to the other themes


The icons are sorted into several categories: accommodation, education, food,...

The icons of each category are placed in a directory with the same name. These category folders are identical across the themes, e.g.: the icons classic.small/sports/soccer.png and square.big/sports/soccer.png should have the same meaning - only the icons look could differ according to the theme.

Please note: These categories are not identical to the osm map features categories! This is because the icons and therefore their structure origins in the gpsdrive software.

Using the Icons

The icons can be found in the OSM subversion repository, see:

Currently, the existing icons are licensed under different licenses (namely: PD, LGPL and probably others). I (Ulfl) am working to get more and more icons to become Public Domain licensed by replacing / redrawing existing icon. Unless this task is completed, please make sure that the licenses or your program and the icons are compatible! You can find license details for each icon in each theme at the overview page.

Add new icons

Please add new icons only under the Public Domain "license"!

The goal is to have a map icon set released under the Public Domain - to avoid the license problems mentioned above.

It's recommended to first create an SVG icon and scale it down for the png icons of the corresponding themes.

SVG Icons

Use Inkscape or a similiar SVG editor to create your icon.

Don't forget to mark the icon as Public Domain in the meta data, as the license information is kept in the icon itself, e.g. in Inkscape under: File/Meta/License. See also Inkscape Open Symbols for open scalable symbols, such as SJJB SVG Map Icon set.

PNG Icons

Use The GIMP or a similiar editor to scale down the SVG icon (or create a new icon from scratch). It happens that the scaled down small 16*16 pixel icons are too blurred to be useful. In this case it's often a good idea to reduce the details of the SVG and create the small icons from that.

Don't forget to mark the icon as PD in the comment field with: "License: PublicDomain", e.g. in The GIMP under: Picture/Properties/Comment - you'll usually also find the "Created with The GIMP" text there.

To build the square icons, look for an icon named empty.png in the corresponding category dir, that png contains the squared frame. Copy the scaled down icon (~ 24 or 26 pixels for square big and ~ 12 or 14 pixels for square small) into the frame.

Add them to the collection

Just add your icons to the subversion repository or send them to the dev or talk mailing lists ...


Many icons are directly copied from or are derived from it. Thanks goes to all the artists over there!