Tagging baby swings

From wikipedia: Baby swings are swings with a bucket shape with holes for the child’s legs, or a half-bucket shape and a safety belt, that is intended to reduce the likelihood of a very young child from falling out.”

It seems currently those are being tagged in OSM mostly as playground=swing + baby=yes

That seems problematic for at least two separate reasons:

  1. as playground=swing is defined as applying to both single swings as well as swingsets, baby=yes is ambiguous – it is not clear does such playground device contain only baby swings, or does it contain some baby swings.

  2. due to their construction, baby swings are unusable by older children; thus playground=swing+baby=yes+capacity=1 seems like a Trolltag“here a swing for you; haha just kidding you can’t actually use it because you’re 7yrs old”.

For the point 1., it has been suggested to instead of baby=yes, one could use combination of capacity=* + capacity:baby=* to avoid ambiguity (although it has been later noted in that thread that capacity=2 on playground=swing might refer to single specialty swing for two persons; instead of swingset with 2 separate single-seat swings).
Also, that suggestion would not address point 2. above.

So, I’d like to know what people thing about having separate value for baby swings, like playground=baby_swing ? That would seem to solve both issues.

And we already tag different “non-regular” types of swings differently, like playground=basketswing, playground=tire_swing, playground=rope_swing, …

So, having notes issues; quick poll about ideal way of tagging baby swings:

  • playground=baby_swing
  • playground=swing+capacity=*+capacity:baby=*
  • playground=swing+baby=yes
  • Something else (please add comment what)
0 voters

Would https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:max_age, perhaps “1” work?

Not really. Because:

  • it depends heavily on the baby size at a certain age, so it is not verifiable
  • max_age is about legal requirements, not about physical suitability (e.g. compare wiki for bicycle=* vs.bicycle:physical=*)

There are also swings with two seats for one small kid / baby and one adult. How should those be tagged?

Source: https://littletikescommercial.com/product/generation-swing-seat/?lang=can

This parent-kid-swing is a very special swing type, but there are some more rather regular ones (from my middle european perspective). I would aim for a tagging system which is able to distinguish not only baby but at least most common types.

It’s quite common in Sweden, FWIW.

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In reply to the original question I voted for playground=baby_swing, but considering the post of @Nielkrokodil we should probably go for a tagging scheme like

playground=swing +


etc. - to cover all kinds of special swings existing now and probably being developed in future.


That one in the picture already has its own special type; it’s playground=basketswing. And we have other special swing types too, like playground=tire_swing and playground=rope_swing.

Good question, I’d say by some special type. I haven’t seen those myself, but playground=family_swing perhaps? or playground=parent_child_swing. How have you mapped any of those so far? And how did you tag them if you did map them?

If it were a new (never before used) tag, I’d agree with that schema!
But we already have defined meaning for (quite popular) playground=swing tag, and I’d really like to avoid repurposing existing tags (it takes absolutely abysmal amount of work and even if one is willing to put all that work into it often doesn’t work out really, and it makes many people annoyed in any case when you try to pull the rug they are walking on. I’d prefer to spread happiness instead of annoyance :smiley_cat: ).

So, if there are several (or a dozen) of those non-common swing types, I’d add each of them as separate playground=something_swing and call it a day. People can document them on the wiki as they find map them (and take pictures of them for the wiki!)

If there are however hundreds of different (but rare) unknown types of swings, I’d rather have generic specialty_swing or uncommon_swing or unknown_swing value or something, and put all those uncommon swing types in there, and let users add description=* explaining each one of them…


No problem with that, playground=swing remains untouched. I was just thinking about a subtag for those different kinds of special swings. The only special swing tag heavily used is basket_swing with some 4500 uses. All others are far below 100.
So it could be well worth thinking about a structured tagging. But I do not have any problem with dozens of playground=xyz_swing (including the baby_swing) at all. Not my business as I do not engage in micromapping playgrounds … no wahalla :grinning: !

Well, I’d argue that “not everything that involves swinging motion is a swing”.

Subtags should always just add detail to the primary tag, and not change its meaning (lest it be considered Trolltag)

People (at least around my corner of the world) have expectation what “swing” is and how it operates. Some smaller variations are OK for subtags (e.g. material=wood vs. material=leather for sitting surface), but fundamental ones (like “baby swing” vs. “rope swing” vs. “tire swing” etc.) definitely aren’t.

Thus, I’d rather not tag playground=rope_swing as playground=swing + swing=rope_swing, as it would seem to break the expectations of playground=swing IMHO. It behaves quite differently then “regular” swing.

Just because the name “rope swing” involves the word “swing”, does not make it the same thing (or a subclass of it).
(Much like one would probably be quite surprised if they were looking for a “car”, and were instead presented with “cable car”, just because both can move in spacetime and have “car” as the part of the name :smile: )

I am looking forward to the explanation of what is so fundamentally different about a rope swing or tyre swing that it should not fall under the generic term swing.

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Just to make sure we’re on the same page, we’re taking (as documented on Key:playground#Swing_devices) about this “regular” recognizable playground=swing:

vs. this playground=rope_swing:


  • on the former: individual child sits on the plank, and uses its legs motion at appropriate times to add energy to the system and increase pendulum amplitude of the swing. They remain seated until they’ve had enough of the swing

  • on the latter: multiple children stand on the rope, balancing themselves, and try to coordinate effectively in order to get it to swing, quite often failing to do so and falling off and jumping back on, trying to give instructions to each other at the same time. Contrary to the former (which is just precise pendulum oscillation law timing), using this is mostly applied chaos theory with equal part of sociology mixed in.

In short, one could be world champion in using the former solo activity, and yet being totally unable to participate in using the latter group activity. That would indicate to me they are fundamentally different.

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I’ve got two young boys and do a lot of playground mapping. OSMand is now far and above the best playground finding resource due to several playground related mapping projects in my area (Maryland, USA.)

Mainly using Everydoor when on-site at a playground, I have been tagging swings as nodes and a baby=yes because that is the preset. GoMap also uses that preset. However, I would gladly use a capacity tag if we could all agree on how to best do it.

PS: Our favorite swings are the parent/child ones where both kids can ride together.

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Looks like this product is called Expression Swing™ by GameTime.

This happens when an adult tries to explain simple constructions created to allow kids to romp around … :wink:

Kids don’t normally care if a swing has a seat or a basket or a rope or whatever, they will just enter it and have fun swinging and that is what a swing is made for and this works perfect until mom or dad are around to say “Oh this rope is too dangerous for you darling, you better sit on this plank and get in motion by using your legs at appropriate times to add energy to the pendulum amplitude …” :laughing:

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Well, in my experience, all kids are different, and some will prefer more solitary activities, and some will prefer more pack-based activities (and not in so 0/1 extremes; their wants and behaviors will vary depending on lots of factors). The swing vs tire_swing differ there greatly.

You seem to be saying that kids often won’t care if it is a swing or merry-go-round or a slide either, they will just go from one to other and have fun? Even if true, that IMHO that does not mean we should remove all playground=* micromapping tags and just leave amenity=playground “because kids will happily use multiple of them”.

It seems I’m surrounded by abnormal kids then, because they certainly do have preferences, and are willing to put up a quite an effort to acquire that basket_swing for themselves :smile:. YMMV, of course.

But rope_swing differs a lot from swing which differs from roundabout which differs from slide, even if kids and parents preferred them totally equally.

We should map what’s on the ground. Just as we shouldn’t map pizzeria as cuisine=burger because we like pizza and burger equally, and both are somewhat similar in composition (mostly flour and sauce and meat and cheese and vegetables), we shouldn’t map playground=swing as playground=rope_swing just because we like them both equally and they both might swing.

If someone is not interested in micromapping that (either cuisine or playground equipment), that is totally fine, they can find their own fun. Perhaps they care in micromapping which car parking spaces are dedicated for disabled persons and which are for able-bodied persons. And even if one is of the opinion “parking is parking, who cares about details, my car can park wherever”, please let’s not conflate the values if other mappers have already put in the effort to micromap the differences.

Youah, this is one thing I observed myself lots of times visiting playgrounds with my own kids.

The other thing is: A swing is a swing is a swing and used by kids of all ages (from ~ 2 to some 80) to swing in one or the other way and direction so I would not see any reason not to call them a swing and tag them as swing.

To work out the difference in between the various types one option is a subtag swing=*, another option is to give all of them their own playground=* tag.

My preference would be the first option, yours is the second. No problem from my side, just go ahead.

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I would start with the fact that most swing sets are long and often skinny structure with multiple points of attachment. Most swing sets can have a seat that uses one or more of these attachments. Traditionally sets only use pairs. The above mentioned rope swing uses a series of pairs to suspended a single long “seat”.

So both should be playground=swing_set. A rope swing would be a swing_set:type=beam. I changed because “rope” is it sounds like a material instead structure.

Regular swing sets should probably be treated like spaces in a parking lot. A standard swing has two attachments and a place to seat. There are others each with a specific number of attachments. I suggest we enumerate the number of individual swings attached to a swing set structure. We can use swing:seat for the common seat with 2 attachments. One attachment swings are called “tyre” because they are often made from an old ones. More types could be easily added using swing type.

This should allow use to include the number of baby seat. At worst a size scale to denote relative size or intended development.

  • playground=swing_set swing:seat=5

can you explain “beam” type? I thought a beam was something rigid, so it doesn’t fit to tag a “rope”, or maybe I didn’t understand you properly. Generally, most/many swing ropes on playgrounds are actually chains.

Or is the beam type thought for this kind of swing (where it would fit):