United States/Swimming Pool Mapping in NYC

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Swimming Pool Mapping in NYC is a project under OpenStreetMap US's Mapping for Impact program in partnership with Rising Tide Effect.


Numerous studies have shown that swimming has a tremendous effect on physical and neurological development in children who start at a young age. These skills translate to improved academic ability and increased self-confidence. However, nearly 80 percent of children from low-income families have little or no swimming ability. Rising Tide Effect is working to reduce social inequity and make our communities safer for children and people by sharing the aquatic experience.

This initiative will locate and inventory all swimming pools, starting in New York City, so that Rising Tide Effect can determine which ones are in underserved at-risk communities and suitable for programming so that either Rising Tide Effect can provide free swimming lessons and water safety education or find local partners to do so. In addition, all information will be presented to the relevant government agencies for future development and planning so that the currently inoperable pools can be repaired and put to good use. You can help support this cause by mapping indoor and outdoor swimming facilities and adding critical details where possible in New York City. Mapping these features will provide Rising Tide Effect with data to help advocate for and improve youth access to swimming facilities.

Getting Started

This mapping project will take place in multiple phases using remote and in-person methods to inventory indoor and outdoor pools in New York City. Due to the nature of the data needed - requiring on-the-ground and local knowledge; mapping activities will take place across a few different platforms. See the "Mapping Guides" section below for further instructions on mapping swimming pool features.

Do you know local information about a specific pool in NYC? Please contribute using our MapComplete task here. For all other mappers, please contribute using one of the organized tasking projects below:

Organized Tasking

Outdoor Pool Mapping Projects
Approach Tool Project Project Status Mapping Status Validation Status
Remotely map outdoor swimming pools visible on imagery Tasking Manager #312 Published 0% 0%
Update attribute tags for outdoor swimming pools MapRoulette TBD To be set up 0% 0%

Once the outdoor remote mapping has been completed, we'll start working on indoor pools and update with the strategy below.

Indoor Pool Mapping Projects
Approach Tool Project Project Status Mapping Status Validation Status
To be planned

Data Needs

To support Rising Tide Effect, our goal is to map all indoor and outdoor swimming pools in NYC with the following attribute information:

Attribute Data Needed for Pools
Priority Requested information OSM Tag(s) Additional info
High Access access=yes Open to the public
access=private Private or residential
access=customers Accessible to customers or clients of the host facility
access=permissive Permissively open to public
access=unknown Access unknown
Name of Pool name=* Name of pool
Operator/Owner operator=* Name of operating organization (i.e. NYC Parks, DOE, Private company, YMCA)
operator:wikidata=* Wikidata value for operator. NYC Parks Q1894232, NYC DOE Q408230, YMCA Q54834579
Status operational_status=operational Operational and open during its regular season.
operational_status=closed Closed indefinitely or permanently
operational_status=needs_maintenance Closed or restricted access for maintenance
operational_status=unknown Status unknown
Website website=* Website with information about the pool, example Sunset Park Pool.
Moderate Hours of Operation opening_hours=* Please indicate opening hours for the pool during its regular season in proper OSM format.

Recommendation: use YoHours to enter hours into the OSM format.

Indoor or Outdoor location=indoor Particularly needed for indoor pools
location=outdoor Helpful for outdoor pools under roofs; okay but not necessary for exposed outdoor pools
Bather Load capacity=* Maximum number of people allowed in the pool
Size of pool length=* Please indicate unit (i.e. ft, m)
width=* Please indicate unit (i.e. ft, m)
swimming_lanes=* Number of swimming lanes
Range of depth mindepth=* Depth of the shallowest point. Please indicate unit (i.e. ft, m)
maxdepth=* Depth of the deepest point. Please indicate unit (i.e. ft, m)
Temperature of water temperature=* Please indicate temperature as a numerical value in Celsius.
Chemical compound type water_purification=bromine Used to indicate presence and type of chemical used
water_purification=chlorine Used to indicate presence and type of chemical used

Mapping Guides

Outdoor swimming pool

Mapping Outdoor Pools

For each task, please make sure to map all swimming pools visible on imagery. If you're new to identifying pools on imagery, look for parks and residential areas for potential swimming pools. Outdoor pools may also occur in commercial centers, such as on hotel property. All pools visible should be mapped! When you locate a swimming pool, create an area outlining the pool and tag with leisure=swimming_pool. For pools at apartment buildings and residential/backyard pools, also add the tag access=private. Access information will be critical for Rising Tide Effect's data needs.

If additional information is known, please add the attribute data listed in the Data Needs table.

For water parks, please instead use the leisure=water_park tag.

Indoor Swimming Pool

Mapping Indoor Pools

Hotels & Other Amenities

  • If you have knowledge of an indoor pool with attribute data, please map as a point within the building footprint of the structure and tag with leisure=swimming_pool and location=indoor. Then, please add the attribute data listed in the Data Needs table.
  • If you are aware that an amenity or facility has an indoor pool, such as a hotel, but unsure of additional attribute information, please add the tag swimming_pool=yes to the feature.

Sports & Fitness Facilities

More information about tagging swimming pools can be found on the Swimming and bathing page.

Stay connected and spread the word

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