I'm having much trouble changing my (feature)marker icons 'on the fly'. The problem is that I use much different images and also need to change the offset.

So I iterate over every marker and make a new icon object with the latest data:

    if (iconImgUrl.indexOf('img/icons/icon_') != -1) {
        var size = config.numberPlateTail;
        var offset = new OpenLayers.Pixel(0, -size.h);
        var iconImg = new OpenLayers.Icon('/img/icons/marker_' + dataitem.numberplate + '.png', size, offset);
    } else {
        var size = config.iconSize;
        var offset = new OpenLayers.Pixel(-(size.w / 2), -size.h);
        var iconImg = new OpenLayers.Icon('/' + iconImgUrl, size, offset);

Because I also want to change the offset, I can't use


I tried to 'kill' the current icon object and change it for a new one and then try to force it to redraw the icon, but somehow the marker doesn't display after that.

In the update loop I have:

        tbPosition.features[i].marker.icon = iconImg;

and markers are created like:

 var feature = new OpenLayers.Feature(this.markers, new OpenLayers.LonLat(lat, lng));
 feature.data.icon = iconImg;
 var marker = feature.createMarker();

So, how do I change (or update) the complete icon object?

2 Answers 2


you can also do sth like this:

var vectorLayer = new OpenLayers.Layer.Vector("Test");

var feature = new OpenLayers.Feature.Vector(
              new OpenLayers.Geometry.Point(-71, 42),
                  {externalGraphic: 'img/marker.png', graphicHeight: 21, graphicWidth: 16});



vectorLayer.features[2].style.externalGraphic = 'other/path/image.png';

i hope it helps you...

  • hi. What's 'sth'? I'll give it a try, but to me it seems a bit weird to use a vector to mimic a marker. Can I still add pop-ups to this element? What does this vcid number do? I can't find documentation on that.
    – Jeroen
    Jul 13, 2012 at 8:19
  • sth is meaning of "like this" :) . vcid is extra information for your point. you also add popup to this. this is my solution actually it is not hard to implement.
    – urcm
    Jul 13, 2012 at 8:28

maybe OpenLayers is ignoring your changes, not to recompute everything on each map refresh. I'd try destroying the features and create them again.. regards, JM

  • Yeah, that's what I did to get it working. Very annoying. Things like this don't result in nice code
    – Jeroen
    Jul 13, 2012 at 8:15

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