| 4 minute read |

It’s been a while since we last featured 3 great map icon sets for customising your Mango, and the world of icons has grown in leaps and bounds since. Here’s 3 more free map icons packs to use on your maps.

The amount of data we navigate through each day is increasing at an astonishing rate – every day we’re finding new ways gather, process and publish data: watches, glasses, fitness trackers, and even wearable thumbnail trackpads, all augmenting our daily lives with updates, reminders, companionship and connectedness.

But we’re not very good at ‘turning off’ the flow of data.

We crave it, and we’re all guilty of the fear of missing out… that hunger for information that turns that one last swipe/slide/refresh before bed into a 3 hour tangent into the history of cats on celluloid film.

As map makers, we’re communicators of data, so we have to approach each piece of data with this in mind. We must find ways to help filter, classify, prioritize our data to ensure we’re publishing what’s relevant and useful, and ensuring our narrative—the story we’re trying and the questions we’re trying to answer—aligns with the questions that our audience are asking.

There’s one thing that’s clear: In interface design,

simplicity is key.

When we’re publishing a web map, we want to engage the user from the very first glance, and draw them in deep so they can find the answers they need. Simple flat icons are perfect for countering information overload, and provide visual cues that are immediately understood throughout a wide audience.

Today we’ll feature 3 new resources for finding and curating the perfect collection of free map icons and icon sets for your Mango.


1. Flat Icon

First up is the fantastic Flat Icon, where you’ll be spoiled for choice with literally hundreds of flat icons. Download whole icons sets in a flash, filter through sets by category, or curate your own custom icon set that’s just right for your map.


The Map Icons pack by Scott de Jonge is a great place to start, with clean flat icons covering a range of activity, place, and symbols markers.

To create your custom set of icons, simply hover over the icon you want and click the + to add it to your pack, hover over the next icon, click +, and repeat. Want icons from another category? Easy. Flat Icon let you build your pack from their whole collection. Want a variety of pins and markers? Cool, there’s plenty to choose from!

Once you’re happy with your haul, go to the My Icons button, select PNG, and 32px, and hit the green download button.

All the icons from Flat Icon are free, released under the Creative Commons CC BY 3.0 attribution licence, meaning you can use them for any purpose, but it is necessary to credit the author when you use them. See the attribution section at the end of this post.

 

2. Icomoon

The Icomoon app is an icon lover’s paradise. Select from a huge range of icons, customise your selection with desired icon size and hex colour.

While the Icomoon app is primarily used by designers to create custom icon fonts and SVG packs for websites and apps, anyone can take advantage of the huge range of icons to select meaningful icons to represent our data points.

 

3. Icon Archive

Last up in our icon investigation is Icon Archive – an easily sortable collection of icons ranging from realistic 3D pushpins and markers to highly stylized flat outline icons. Choose your icon and download the size you need for your map – 16, 24, 32 or 48px.

 

Attribution

Many icons are completely free, but many also come with usage restrictions or conditions.

Creatives are a generous bunch, so most often usage rights are defined by a Creative Commons (CC) licence – a form of rights management that encourages sharing and collaboration. The best part about (CC) licencing is it’s easy to accurately credit the author, and most websites hosting (CC) licensed content will provide ready made attribution code for you to copy and paste.

Simply copy the attribution code when you download your icons:

Then open your Mango toolbox, enable Custom Copyright/Attribution, and paste the code the field.

 

Don’t Forget: Mango accepts custom icons in .png format only, up to 50px


Nice icons! You’re well on the way to web mapping success!

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