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I found this youtube video where the crosses are changed to daggers:

However there is no source or instructions and I can't find anything else on it. It would be helpful if enemy units had less symmetrical icons, so their rotation was clearer on the minimap.

There are many guides to changing the size and color of minimap icons but not the shape. Is this possible and would it be a "legal" mod for online play?

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I checked the console command list for you and none of the dota_minimap_ commands feature any shapes. As you mentioned, while you can use these to change the shape, size and position, you can't change the icons into anything other than the droplets (which do point a certain way). So you have to use a mod for it.

However, not using console commands means that you have to add/change files to the directory and then it becomes less clear what Valve allows and what not. While they were pretty lenient with mods a few large updates ago, they changed it to a stricter policy (-override_vpk/-enable_addons commands) and recently with the Reborn update, everything not Valve approved is VAC-bannable. They are still tweaking the UI, so any mods now will be unstable as well.

So at this point you are out of luck. I would suggest you check the dota modding community at reddit until they figured out what needs to happen to enable mods again.

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Fixed by Valve

Arrows are now the default, since the March 24, 2016 "spring cleaning" update:

MINIMAP ICON UPDATE

To better indicate which direction an enemy unit (or Dire unit if spectating) is facing, the classic X minimap unit icons have been changed to arrows.

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