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Green Map Icons

Icon Reference
Icon Resources
Green Map® Icons are at the heart of the Green Map movement!

Used by our entire network, this globally designed universal set of symbols:

  • makes each Green Map easy to explore, regardless of the language and cultural orientation of the user.
  • identifies, promotes and links a diverse array of sustainability sites along with special places that highlight cultural character.
  • makes patterns of green development and resource inequalities between different areas easier to recognize.
  • helps successful initiatives spread to new communities.
  • helps bring urgent global environmental problems down to the local level, where they can be more easily grasped and changed.

Lending dynamism to every Green Map, the award-winning icons are also powerful tools for assessing the resources that are currently available, and to help plan for healthier communities.

Our iconography is among our most distinctive and vital resources. It's one of the world’s first universal iconographies for maps! (There are orienteering map symbols that predate ours.) New! In 2017, we matched these icons to the SDGs, United Nations 2030 Goals,

Freshly updated through an inclusive collaborative process that culminated in 2008, you can download Green Map Icons Version 3's new:

Green Mapmakers, click here to download the V3 font and other resources (login required, for registered projects only).

“Sustainability is a balance between environmental vitality, economic integrity and social equity, therefore the Version 3 Green Map Icons has three genres, Sustainable Living, Nature and Culture & Society; each of these have four categories of icons. This expanded set includes more icons for climate change, environmental justice and activism, green enterprise, outdoor activities and even some 'indoor icons'”, says Wendy Brawer, Green Map’s Founding Director.

There is a general agreement about the meaning of each symbol, but Green Mapmakers ultimately determine precise definitions in their local context. Mapmakers choose their own sub-set of the symbols, and can color and organize their map’s legend as desired. Provided as a font, copyrighted Green Map Icons can be used with any computer program on Green Maps and related educational and outreach materials. They are also available as stickers for students and Green Mapmakers without digital resources.

Local place-based icons can also be designed, then shared with others in the same region or even adopted into our global set. Thus, Green Map Icons are evolving as a language that reflects our growing understanding of sustainability in the community context.

Green Map Icons, Version 3 took five years to update with the help of hundreds of Green Mapmakers, and the public through our Icon Open Studio. Find more information about the concepts and people involved on our Icon Evolution page, which explains more about the history of this award-winning living language over the years. Explore how the different Green Maps have used them in the Maps section. This website’s About and Participate sections are great places to find out more about registering to use these icons on a Green Map of your community!

Our thanks to Icon Update supporters, including Fosters Group Community Grants, the Foundation for Sustainability & Innovation, Global Giving, Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio Centre, and individual donors!

"We have seen the future, and it's little bitty icons on a folding map."
-The San Francisco Bay Guardian