About Swimmers Guide

What is Swimmers Guide?

Swimmers Guide is a website developed to enable swimmers to find information about full-size, year-round swimming pools, anywhere in the world, quickly and easily. The site is built around a database that was begun in 1992 for publication as a guide for traveling swimmers. In the following 26 years, it has grown from 1,100 listings in the United States to nearly 24,000 listings in 170 countries and has become a resource not just for travelers, but for anyone interested in finding a pool anywhere, at any time of the year.

Each Swimmers Guide listing includes: the facility's name, street address and telephone number; a description of the full-size, year, round swimming pool(s) and diving equipment there; information about whether the pool is accessible by the general public and, if so the cost; information to help find the facility; information about aquatic sports teams that train at the facility, including how to get in touch with them; comments about the facility that the site editor thinks will be helpful and informative for someone who has not been there before; and reviews of the facility provided by swimmers who have been there and have been kind enough to share their observations with us.

The vast majority of the listings include links to the facilities' own, official websites, exact GPS (latitude and longitude) location data, and links to targeted Google Maps sites that show exactly where the pool is located. Those listings that include information about resident, aquatic sports teams usually also include links to the teams' own websites.

When it went online in 1996, Swimmers Guide was the Internet’s first world-wide swimming pool database - and it's still the best. In the words of one Masters Club website, it is "the gold standard" of pool finding resources. There are other sites that claim to do what we have done, but none of them is as accurate, as carefully curated, or as easily navigated as Swimmers Guide. Bookmark this site for when you're planning a trip, considering a move to a new community (or country), or for when you just want to look at a new ceiling during your next backstroke workout.

What Distinguishes Swimmers Guide from Other Pool Finding Sites?

Since Swimmers Guide first went online in 1996, we’ve added more than 26,000 listings and we’ve deleted nearly 4,000. We don’t just look for new pools to add to the site, we actively work to make sure that we don’t send you off to a pool that’s no longer open.

And we don’t just add and delete pools from our list, either; we work to ensure that the information we present is as current as we can. We show dates [Month, year] when we were last able to check prices for the facilities and, if we don’t know something, we say so. We are continually reviewing and updating the names, addresses, telephone numbers, web links, prices, and other data shown in the listings.

We don’t keep you captive on our site; we include links to other sites that may have information we can’t capture that we think may be helpful or of interest to you. We know that we could never keep up with the ever-changing pool schedules for all the listings, so we throw a link to the pools’ official websites to allow you to find the most current schedule for yourself. We look for other sites to link to in the listing, as well, such as those for the Masters and Youth swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, triathlon, lifesaving, underwater hockey and rugby, clubs that train at the listed facilities. And we monitor those links, changing them whenever we find one that’s broken. As of August, 2018, we had nearly 60,000 external links.

How to Use Swimmers Guide.

If you have your browser set to recognize your location, the Home Page will open showing you a map with your location at the center and the fifty listings nearest to you as map pins. If you're looking for a pool in a different location, simply move your cursor to the fill-in box that says "OR enter another location to search here" and start to type in the address of that location. As you type, the input field will give suggestions to complete the address in the form of a drop-down list. Select the suggestion (or complete the typing yourself) and the map will move to center on that location. The map pins will then show you the fifty listings nearest that location.

The finding tool is more powerful tool than you might expect: You can type in a full address, a Postal or ZIP Code and state or country; a three-character airport code, the name of a hotel or an attraction - if Google Maps can find the location, it can place the center of the map there. The more exact you make the address, the more helpful the results. Selecting "Plaza Hotel" in New York City, for example, takes you to exactly that building and all distances will be shown from it; if you just select "New York City, NY" Google centers the map at City Hall, at the southern end of Manhattan, near the World Trade Center site. Where the map is centered determines where the closest pools are and the distances from the center point to those pools.

The map-points are color-coded to tell you whether each listed facility allows drop-in admission (the pin center is green for accessible, red for definitely not accessible, and yellow for "we don't know" or "it's not that simple"). The pin centers are coded to show if it is a competition-standard length ("25m" = 25 meters, "25y" = 25 yards, or "50m" = 50 meters). Pins that have no text designate pools that are not competition standard lengths.

Click on one of the color-coded map-point icons for a "snapshot" view of the listing. Click on "Read More" at the bottom of the snapshot-box for the full facility listing.

Or look beneath the map for a table listing the facilities found, their names, the distance from the map's center-point, the name of the city where it's located, the length of its primary pool, whether the pool is open to the public for drop-in swims, whether the pool is in a hotel or, if not in a hotel, has an arrangement with one or more local hotels for their guests to use the facility, and what types of aquatic sports teams train at the facility. All of the columns can be sorted and re-sorted by clicking on the column heading. To see the full facility listing, click on the Facility's name in the second column.

All of the GPS points in the listings and used in the map-based interface have been located "by hand". We did not trust others to locate pools on our maps, we spent more than three and a half years to find the exact location of every listing with a GPS point in the site, pouring over Google Maps satellite photographs, and using Google's Street View feature. Unlike some other sites, our maps won't place the pool you're looking at in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean - unless you're looking at a listing in Bermuda!

Who is Swimmers Guide for?

Swimmers Guide has a point of view. It was created by lap swimmers for lap swimmers. While some of the facilities listed on the site may not be great lap pools, most of them will do in a pinch.

Over the years, however, we've found that a lot of other people who aren't lap swimmers use the site, too. So we've included a lot of pools that are more leisure-oriented.

The original purpose of the site was to help travelers - both business and leisure travelers - find pools in the cities and towns they're visiting. But we've also found that people relocating from one place to another use it to decide where they're going to live.

When you're looking for somewhere to swim, be sure to read the listing information carefully to be sure the pools you're considering meet your needs.

How can you help:

We actively solicit the help of anyone who can help us keep our data as complete and up to date as possible. In addition to the "Add A Pool" section accessed from the top row toolbar of every page, there's an "Edit" button next to every data point in every listing, and an "Add..." button over some sections where you can tell us more. Click on and Edit button to let us know when we’ve gotten something wrong or the facts have changed. Click on an Add button to send comments and reviews, or to tell us about more pools or swim teams at the location. If you prefer, use the email address for comments and suggestions at the bottom of every page.

You don’t have to be the owner of a facility to send us a correction or an update – and we don’t expect you to take ownership of the listing when you do. If you find something in a listing is not correct or if you know the pool has closed, please tell us so we can correct the error or remove the listing. We won’t bug you a year from now for an update – we know you may have been there only once.

If we've missed a qualifying facility you know about, tell us about it so we can include it. Click on the "Add A Pool" text in the menu at the top of any page. In the first page of that section, you’ll see the minimum criteria for a pool to be included on the site. On the following pages you’ll be led through a series of questions to enter the information about the proposed listing. Don't be put off by the number of questions we ask, it's not a test and there will be no grade. Just tell us what you know. We may have to do a little work to round out the information needed to add a listing to the site. You would be surprised how many listings we've been able to add to the site based on nothing more than the facility's name and city. But if you can give us more than that, we will be most grateful.

Lastly, we've spent tens of thousands of hours to collect the information on the Swimmers Guide website and tens of thousands of dollars to have programmers write the code that makes the site work. We are not above begging. If you can't send information, we'll happily accept your contributions through our GoFundMe website. No contribution is too small - or too large!

Do you have questions about this site?

If you want to know more about the site, click on the word "FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions) at the top of every page. The FAQ section includes complete listing criteria, information about what we generally include and exclude from a listing (and why), and other general information.

Privacy Policy & Cookies:

Nobody hates junk mail (in any form) more than we do, and we doubt that there are many people who object to the techniques of some website promoters to collect information about their site visitors more than we. So here's our commitment to you:

If you write to us, neither your identity nor your e-mail address will ever be revealed to anyone else unless you specifically request it. We will not write to you, ourselves, other than to send a brief thank you or, occasionally, a follow-up question about something you've told us, usually within a day or two of receiving your communication. While we do everything we can to ensure that your privacy is protected while visiting our site, we include tens of thousands of hypertext links to other sites - those of the facilities we list, various aquatic sports clubs, commercial map sites, and many other Internet resources that we think may be helpful. We have not investigated the privacy policies of those sites, most of which will be far less favorable than our own. We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our Web site. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click HERE.

When you place your mouse over a hypertext link on any of our pages, you can tell where the link goes by looking at the bottom bar of your Web browser. If the "target" URL begins with "https://www.SwimmersGuide.com/", you know that you're going to a page within our site that's covered by our privacy policy. If it shows anything other than that, the link belongs to someone else and we cannot take responsibility for other sites owners' behavior.

Site Ownership & Responsibility:

The Swimmers Guide domain and website are registered to, owned, and operated by William J. ("Bill") Haverland, of Raleigh, North Carolina, who is solely responsible for its content. My name and email address appear on every page of the site. Additional contact information is available through the "Whois" domain name registry.

This page was most recently updated in August, 2018.