Style Spec


Loading a sprite can be done using the optional sprite property at the root level of a MapLibre style sheet.

The images contained in the sprite can be referenced in other style properties (background-pattern, fill-pattern, line-pattern,fill-extrusion-pattern and icon-image).


You need to pass an URL where the sprite can be loaded from.

"sprite": "https://demotiles.maplibre.org/styles/osm-bright-gl-style/sprite"

This will load both an image by appending .png and the metadata about the sprite needed for loading by appending .json. See for yourself:

More details about the exact requirements on the format of these files is provided in the next section.

When a sprite is provided, you can refer to the images in the sprite in other parts of the style sheet. For example, when creating a symbol layer with the layout property "icon-image": "poi". Or with the tokenized value "icon-image": "{icon}" and vector tile features with an icon property with the value poi.

Multiple Sprite Sources

You can also supply an array of { id: ..., url: ... } pairs to load multiple sprites:

"sprite": [
    id: 'roadsigns',
    url: 'https://example.com/myroadsigns'
    id: 'shops',
    url: 'https://example2.com/someurl'
    id: 'default',
    url: 'https://example2.com/anotherurl'

As you can see, each sprite has an id. All images contained within a sprite also have an id. When using multiple sprites, you need to prefix the id of the image with the id of the sprite it is contained within, followed by a colon. For example, to reference the stop_sign image on the roadsigns sprite, you would need to use roadsigns:stop_sign.

The sprite with id default is special in that you do not need to prefix the images contained within it. For example, to reference the image with id airport in the default sprite above, you can simply use airport.

Sprite Source Format

A valid sprite source must supply two types of files:

  • An image file, which is a PNG image containing the sprite data.

  • An index file, which is a JSON document containing a description of each image contained in the sprite. The content of this file must be a JSON object whose keys form identifiers to be used as the values of the above style properties, and whose values are objects describing the dimensions (width and height properties) and pixel ratio (pixelRatio) of the image and its location within the sprite (x and y). For example, a sprite containing a single image might have the following index file contents:

        "poi": {
            "width": 32,
            "height": 32,
            "x": 0,
            "y": 0,
            "pixelRatio": 1

Optional Properties

Apart from these required properties, the following optional properties are supported:

  • content: An array of four numbers, with the first two specifying the left, top corner, and the last two specifying the right, bottom corner. If present, and if the icon uses icon-text-fit, the symbol's text will be fit inside the content box.
  • stretchX: An array of two-element arrays, consisting of two numbers that represent the from position and the to position of areas that can be stretched.
  • stretchY: Same as stretchX, but for the vertical dimension.
  • sdf: Boolean. If true then the image is handled as a signed-distance field (SDF) and its color can be set at runtime using the icon-color and icon-halo-color properties. Defaults to false.

Stretch Properties

The following image gives a bit more infomation regarding the stretch properties:

    "sheild": {
        "width": 25,
        "height": 30,
        "x": 0,
        "y": 0,
        "stretchX": [[5, 10], [15, 20]]
        "stretchY": [[5, 20]]
        "pixelRatio": 1

The red highlighted part is where the stretch will occur over the Y axis and the blue highlight is for the X axis. popup-stretch

High-DPI Devices

On high-DPI devices, @2x is appended to the URLs described above. For example, if you specified "sprite": "https://example.com/sprite", renderers would load https://example.com/sprite.json and https://example.com/sprite.png, or https://example.com/sprite@2x.json and https://example.com/sprite@2x.png.

Generating Sprites

A tool that can generate sprites from svg files can be found in here: @elastic/spritezero

MapLibre Style repository Edit page