United States/Playspace Equity in Philadelphia

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Mapping for Playspace Equity in Philadelphia is a project under OpenStreetMap US's Mapping for Impact program in partnership with KABOOM!


All kids should have access to quality playspaces to learn, socialize, and have fun. Too many communities around the United States, particularly communities of color, are lacking this access. KABOOM! is working to achieve playspace equity by building quality playgrounds and playspaces in the United States where they're needed the most. You can help support this cause by mapping playgrounds in Philadelphia. Remotely mapping playgrounds will provide KABOOM! data on the number and size of playspaces in Philadelphia. After completing remote mapping, there will be opportunities for local mappers to support by filling in features with quality data on the ground. KABOOM! is the national nonprofit that works to end playspace inequity for good. We define playspace inequity as a lack of access to and a sense of belonging in quality playspaces due to the effects of systemic racism in communities across the country. Read the blogpost on this project here.

Getting Started

Support these efforts in Philadelphia by mapping playspaces in OpenStreetMap. This data will directly help KABOOM! identify and communicate local community needs for playspaces.

  • Go to tasks.openstreetmap.us/projects/252 and help complete Project #252 in the OSM US Tasking Manager.
  • Are you a validator or an expert playground mapper? Help complete validation for this project to ensure all mapping has been done correctly.

Remote Mapping Guide


If you're new to identifying playgrounds from imagery, look for parks and school grounds as visual cues for potential playgrounds. However, playgrounds and other play areas may also exist separately from these amenities. Playgrounds and playspaces often occur in other locations such as apartment complexes and church grounds; sometimes neighborhood associations will convert vacant lots into formal playspaces. All of these need to be mapped! When you locate a playground, create an area of the grounds and tag it leisure=playground. While it's acceptable in OpenStreetMap to map playgrounds as nodes, mapping playground features as areas important for data analysis in understanding playground size. If boundaries of the play area are unclear, create a reasonable area around visible play equipment. However, mapping playgrounds as nodes is better than not mapping at all! If you're a beginner mapper and/or uncomfortable defining the boundaries, map a play area as a node that can be revisited by an experienced mapper.

Not all playgrounds have equipment. Some play areas are simply blacktop activities such as four-square or hopscotch on a patch of asphalt. Don't overlook these! Map these areas as playgrounds as well!

See the leisure=playground for additional information.

Sport Courts & Fields

Playgrounds are not the only space that provides an opportunity for play. Basketball courts, baseball fields and other sport features are equally important and sometimes provide the only designated area for outdoor play for neighborhoods. Similar to playgrounds, map these [Sports courts / pitches] (leisure=pitch) as areas where possible, using the leisure=pitch + sport=* tags.


Any parks missing from the map should be added with leisure=park as an area.

Local Mapping Guide

In Philly? Head outside and map additional attributes and features

Completing the basemap of existing playgrounds and playspaces in Philadelphia is a critical first step. However, there is a lot of vital information that KABOOM! needs that can only be gathered by local mappers on the ground. Whether you want to go map your local neighborhood park or gather a group of mappers to cover a wider area, check out the additional features and attributes below that will help KABOOM! assess quality in addition to size and location. (Reach out to <jess@openstreetmap.us> for a full list of local mapping needs if you would like to organize a group mapping activity locally in support of KABOOM!)

Additional Playground Attributes

  • Is there fencing around either the playground footprint or the site (the area including the playground footprint and contiguous outdoor areas)? Map the fence with barrier=fence.
  • What type of surfacing is under and around play components? Add a surface
  • Is the playground open to the wider community or restricted to clients or members? Add an access tag.
  • Is the playground only open at specific times? Add an opening_hours tag.

Add specific playground components

  • Mapping individual play components (i.e. slides, swings) contributes to the understanding of quality and access. You can map individual features of the playground as nodes with the playground tag or add the features to the overall playground as a tag if it's not possible to map the location of components.
  • Features to look for and map include slides, swings, activity panels, spinners, spring toys/see-saws, balance beams, talk tubes, blacktop games (e.g. hopscotch). Check out the playground=* wiki page for more information on how to map these features.

Other site amenities/non-play components

The quality of a playground is also impacted by the environment and amenities available besides the equipment. Where possible please map:

Stay connected and spread the word

As we map together in support of play equity, join the #play-mapping channel on the OSM US slack. Ask questions about mapping tasks or share ideas on how we can be mapping play areas in your local area.