Saturday, July 13, 2019

Putting Water Fountains on the Map

Readers of Maps Mania are mostly very conscious of the effect of single-use plastic on the environment. Which is why they would presumably always prefer to use a reusable water bottle rather than a single-use plastic water bottles. When I leave my home in the summer I nearly always carry a re-usable water bottle. I actually now have a pretty good mental map of the location of water fountains which I can use to refill my water bottle. Of course this mental map only exists in places I know well. When I end up somewhere new I have to rely entirely on luck when looking for a water fountain.

Finding a nearby water fountain can be quite hard. Which is why you should bookmark on your mobile devices. is an interactive map which can help you find and discover water fountains close to your current location. The map shows the locations of potable water fountains with a small blue marker and non-potable fountains with a black marker. The map sidebar lists the nearest fountains in order of proximity to your current location. If you hover over a water fountain in this list its location will be highlighted on the map.

The map sidebar also includes a number of options which allow you to filter the results shown on the map. These allow you to view the locations of only potable water fountains or water fountains which are wheelchair accessible. It even allows you to filter the results by type of water (spring, ground water, own supply or tap).

Now for the bad news. Unfortunately at the moment only works in New York, Geneva, Zurich, Lucerne and Basel. does say to contact them if you would like to add your city to the map. Presumably they would look more favorably on your request if you were able to provide the location data yourself for the water fountains in your city.

If you live in Italy then you can use Fontanelle. Fontanelle maintains an interactive map showing the locations of drinking fountains in many Italian cities. Their cities on the map list includes information on how many water fountains have been mapped in each Italian city (and a link to the map showing the locations of all the city's water fountains).

2 comments: said...

Dear googlemapsmania readers.
It would be particularly great, if we could extend the endeavour on water quality and water-flow. So, if you have access to drinking-water quality (raw) data published in an open data / open science way, please let us know !

Anonymous said...

I use an offline/android openstreetmap derivate when long-distance cycling or backcountry hiking ( (Potable) water fountains are marked on the different themes, and I have used that throughout (Western) Europe, Australia and other areas (I didn't find any fountains marked in Southeast Asia, but my last time in Asia was in 2014, anyway).
My point is: Data about publicly available water fountains seems to be abundand in OSM. Must there not be an easy way to extract that data for a specialized map?