Introducing the LongSwims Database

evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
edited February 2018 in General Discussion

LongSwimsDB aims to compile a structured, accurate, and comprehensive history of the sport of marathon swimming.

From Capt. Webb's pioneering crossing, to the mind-blowing endurance feats of Sarah Thomas, to the blazing speed of the professional circuits, to the numerous local Masters 10K's popping up around the world -- the goal is for everything to be available in a consistent, quality-controlled format.

I linked the project from the main MSF homepage just over a year ago, after I'd finished importing the O7 swims. It has since grown to over 35,000 individual swims and nearly 200 "events" (sanctioned solo swims and organized races), plus dozens of independent routes that meet minimal documentation standards.

I haven't promoted it much because I'm still working out some kinks in the technology and wanted to feel confident in the validity, accuracy, and presentation of the data.

There is still much to be done, but I think it's good enough for general consumption at this point. Some of you have discovered it on your own, and a few event organizers have started using it to vet swimmers' backgrounds. Steve M is probably the most avid user, and has been using it to update/correct openwaterpedia profiles.

There are two primary "views" into the database:

Swimmers and events are also searchable from the homepage.

I also recently launched an "Insights" portal - where I will be adding various analyses and graphs to understand the sport at a deeper level, and explore questions that could only be answered by a formally designed relational database (as opposed to wikis, or books, or even spreadsheets). One of my favorites so far is a simple graph of women's participation in the sport over the past 40 years.

The project is currently sponsored by New York Open Water, and thanks to Rondi, David, and Alex for their support.

Anyway, I'm putting this thread here as a landing spot for any questions or discussion about the project.

Enjoy, and thanks for the interest.

IronMikeChrisgreeneKatieBunkiparizGlobalSwimmerJustSwimslknightmamillerJaimieJayand 19 others.


  • KatieBunKatieBun CornwallSenior Member

    Bravo, @Evan. Congratulations on a phenomenal piece of work and on having the patience of a saint. I've been reading it for months and am constantly amazed by people's achievements. It's a hugely useful database. Thank you.

  • I love this database and use it all the time. Plus it makes entering events so much simpler having most of the major marathon swims there. Sadly not all the NYC Swim data is available through no fault of Evan's.

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 2018

    JustSwim said:
    Sadly not all the NYC Swim data is available through no fault of Evan's.

    Yes, taking down all the NYC Swim data was Morty's final, parting "gift" to the swim community. Thanks Morty.

  • JaimieJaimie NYCCharter Member

    So cool, thank you so much @evmo !

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member

    Great work Evan.
    Count on our continued support!


    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • CathyInCACathyInCA Martinez, CAMember

    WOW! Honored to be on the database at all. You're a genius @evmo

  • miklcctmiklcct Kowloon, Hong KongMem​ber
    edited February 7

    I would like to find swimmers from certain countries in Asia because, due to geographical and climate reasons, they can provide more valuable experience for my training than swimmers from Europe or the U.S. Is it possible to search the database by which country the swimmer is from?

  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited February 7

    @miklcct said:
    Is it possible to search the database by which country the swimmer is from?

    No, but I'll add it as a potential feature for the future.

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