I'm designing for map dashboard where users can monitor zones at factory sites. I'm introducing an icon to show when zones at these sites contain hazards (such as heat).

When users are performing a task in a zone, the user and task blobs combine. This is still acceptable. I use the same logic of combining blobs when a user is in the same zone as a hazard or when there's a hazard nearby a task. but it gets complicated when users are performing a task in a zone.

Is there a better way to visually show this instead of trying to combine 3 icons? This is also the most crucial scenario as the user is in a zone performing a task where there's a potential hazard.

I also need to consider sites where there are many zones nearby. As the map currently has no zoom function, there would be overcrowding if this scenario happens in multiple zones that are next to each other at the same time.

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When blobs are placed on the map [enter image description here][2

  • 2
    Are there both hazards in zones and hazardous tasks? Is there a distinction between the two? How is the zone graphically represented? Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 17:27
  • @bloodyKnuckles the hazards for this are more environmental and are not related to the tasks-related hazards. There's no graphical separation between each of the zones.
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 3:50
  • 1
    I see the hazard blob on the map. Do the user and task blobs appear on the same map? Do they appear anywhere else, such as a list or other page? Commented Nov 17, 2022 at 11:08
  • @bloodyKnuckles yes, the users and tasks on-site appear on the same map too. there's also a user list that displays all users that are on and off the site
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 2:19
  • 2
    My first thought was to mark the entire zone as hazardous then put the user and task blob in that zone. But your comment, "There's no graphical separation between each of the zones." seems to indicate that's not possible. — Do you see any problem combining the 3 blobs? — A different question, why the color blue for the hazard? Seems red/orange would communicate danger better. Commented Nov 18, 2022 at 2:26

2 Answers 2


Mark the task, or if there's no task in the zone, mark the hazard:

mark hazard


Or mark the zone:

mark zone

  • thanks for the answer. marking the task works, but its not technically possible to mark the zone as i mentioned before
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 2:55
  • for your 1st solution, how would you show a zone that doesn't have a task?
    – Blue Ocean
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 4:45

Many map applications, including Google maps, Waze, and Apple maps use icons to indicate a specific type of issue on the map. Such as a hazard, crash, lane closure, etc.

In your instance, according to your post: the most crucial scenario is the combination of users and tasks in a hazard zone. I would create a separate icon for this specific use case (user+task+hazard). I would also design separate icons for the other possible combinations of user+hazard or task+hazard. This way you won't overcrowd the screen real estate.

Here are some examples of different map applications using specific icons for each use case:

Apple map:

enter image description here

Google Map:

enter image description here

Waze map:

enter image description here

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