Google Maps Icons and Markers Explained

What are the Different Legends, Icons, and Points of Interest Explained in Google Maps?


When you search for a specific address in Google, you may notice blue, orange, yellow and red markers surrounding the area of the red pin. Many local SEO companies and even business owners struggle to find the answer about these map markers. The reason is Google doesn’t have an official blog on map icons or legends because maps are dealt with on the developer end.  Google Map Developers don’t speak the same language as the average joe so trying to find information on map icons proves difficult unless you know the technical term. But these map icons you see are called POI Click Events. But for the sake of understanding, I’m just going to use the terms explain markers, icons, and pins.

If you want the short version, Google has a section on Place Labels on Maps. If not, keep reading.

In Google’s developer platform, points of interest (POIs) appear on a Google Map query around the address searched with their corresponding icons. POIs include parks, schools, government buildings, and more.

The google map icons and meanings

How does a business get a place of interest icon in Google Maps?

Great question. But let’s take a look at the businesses category.  Google only assigns handful properties or businesses to get these icons. Below is a partial list of accepted places of Interest. You can see the full list of supported businesses or categories right here.


accounting car_wash
airport casino
amusement_park cemetery
aquarium church
art_gallery city_hall
atm clothing_store
bakery convenience_store
bank courthouse
bar dentist
beauty_salon department_store
bicycle_store doctor
book_store electrician
bowling_alley electronics_store
bus_station embassy

Local business POIs appear by default on the map when the map type is normal (default roadmap setting.)  Business POIs represent businesses such as shops, restaurants, hotels, or businesses that have a storefront and serve people at their locations.

Unless a business is a place of interest as defined by Google’s developer platform, it isn’t going to get a blue, green, yellow icon or marker. Sorry construction category. Even at the time of publishing, there’s no way to add a marker to your business inside the Google My Business platform.  You would have to develop an independent map at

What is the difference between Map Icons vs Map Markers

In the example below the POI icons surround the address that was searched. The address searched has a big red marker.  As you zoom out on the map you can see more places of interest.  If you don’t see your business as a point of interest icon search for an address near your business. Google maps will not display a red map marker on top of a point of interest icon.




Google Maps Legend and Icon Definitions

The icons are universal symbols so they can be used across the globe.

Here is a pdf of all of the Google Point of Interest Event Icons

Explanation of icons can be found on the Google API icon repository.


You can see a variety of POI events in this developer map example.


google point of interest icons
google point of interest icons




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