Emoticon Map Markers in Emoji Heatmapper App

As I’ve been exploring and trying to learn what’s possible in the maps of OpenLayers 3 using LokLak API, I wondered about map markers. The markers which i used earlier seem to be so dull on the map, and as I am working on Emoji Heatmapper I couldn’t help but think about 🍩,  😻, 🍦 and 🔮. And sure, the more practical 🏡 , 🏢, ☕ and 🌆.

Emojis as map markers? I had to give it a try.

I didn’t know how one acquires the emoji trove, so I searched around Github. Sure enough, I found many solutions on GitHub. I sifted through all of them until Emoji-picker caught my attention. So i tried giving a dropdown using the emoji-picker as searching would be lot more easier for the user.

Emoji-picker will convert an emoji keyword to the image internally. That is why when you hover over an emoji in the drop-down menu, it shows the corresponding keyword. For instance, the image 🚀 when hovered on it, it displays :rocket: .


All the emojis are saved as data URIs, so I don’t need to worry about lugging around hundreds of images. All I need is emoji-picker.js, and few more *.js files  hooked up on my page, and a little JavaScript to get everything working accordingly.

Armed with hundreds of emojis, my next step was to swap markers with emoji keywords. After a few clicks around emoji-picker documentation, I landed on data-emoji-input=”unicode” . It allows you to replace the traditional marker with a unicode emojis so the search outputs data. You can add a class to that lead emoji-picker-container and data-emoji-input=”unicode” for the HTML option.

Style the Open Layers 3 map:

var style = new ol.style.Style({
    stroke: new ol.style.Stroke({
        color: [64, 200, 200, 0.5],
        width: 5
    text: new ol.style.Text({
        font: '30px sans-serif',
        text: document.getElementById('searchField').value !== '' ? document.getElementById('searchField').value : '',
        fill: new ol.style.Fill({
            color: [64, 64, 64, 0.75]


and 🎇 I have an emoji map marker.


Published by

Kavitha Nair

Open Source Enthusiast and Wanderlust.