I spotted a new free iPhone app (compatible with the iPad2 and upwards) which eventually could be a useful resource to responsible dog owners who clean up after their four legged companions.
The idea of the app is to build up a database of dog bins so if you are walking your dog in an area which is new to you the app can be used to locate the nearest bin(s) on a map. I think this is an imaginative and useful idea. The presentation is neat and easy to use. It uses GPS to show your position as a blue dot with any nearby bins show as red pins on a street map.
The one snag at the moment is the database will have patchy coverage as it requires us, iPhone users in any country, to help by photographing any bins we see and uploading the information which is sent with the GPS location. This is easily done inside the app. You have to sign up to use the app but that is free, quick and easy though you have to give an email address which is used to verify your account.
This shows the position of one of the bins I photographed in my village:
Tapping the pin shows the nickname of the person who uploaded the photo and tapping that shows the photograph which may help in recognising the area where the bin is located:
At the moment it can take a while to upload the photo, depending on 3G reception, but I have been in touch with the programmer, James Barrow, and there will soon be an update which will reduce the size of the files and therefore reduce the transmission time. I look forward to this improvement as the longer it takes the greater the battery drain while GPS is being used.
I think this is a brilliant idea and I hope as many iPhone / dog owning people as possible will help by installing the app and contributing to the database. Even if you don't have a dog but like to walk on clean paths then consider photographing your local dog bin(s) and uploading the information. You will have to install the app but you can always delete it afterwards.
As James checks every upload, and by the looks of things crops the photo, I can see him being very busy if this catches on. I have no connection with the programmer just, as you may have guessed, an enthusiastic user.
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