A new app called Snapcrap lets users take pictures of human poop on San Francisco's sidewalks or streets and send them to the city's Public Works Department to initiate a cleanup.
Snapcrap, which launched on iOS last week and on Android on Tuesday, uses your phone's GPS to determine the exact location of the feces. You can also track recent tickets to make sure the issue is resolved. The app borrows from Snapchat's imagery, replacing the ghost logo with one of poop.
"See something gross? Just snap a photo and press submit," Snapcrap's App Store description reads. It sends a report to San Francisco's 311 hotline.
San Francisco is working to deal with its dirty streets as it struggles with issues of homelessness. To help combat the problem, it established a "Poop Patrol" in August, made up of five public works employees who patrol the streets and steam-clean dirty areas. The city also has a 311 app where people can report feces, as well as other things like graffiti or the need for streetlight repairs or tree maintenance. The city gets around 1,300 monthly requests to clean up human and animal waste, said Rachel Gordon, director of policy and communications at San Francisco Public Works.
"We want to be both responsive and proactive in addressing street cleanliness issues," Gordon said. "The new Snapcrap app provides the public with another reporting tool; but it is not as robust as the City's SF311 app in terms of precise reporting, which can help crews locate and address the concern more rapidly."
Snapcrap creator Sean Miller told the Los Angeles Times he was inspired to create the app after moving from Vermont to San Francisco and discovering he had to frequently step over human and animal poop.
"Pretty much everyone who lives here is pretty well accustomed to seeing this stuff when you're walking down the street in every neighborhood," Miller told the publication. "It's very frustrating. You should be able to pull out your phone, take a photo and send it to the city to have it cleaned up."
Miller told CNET that there are around 200 to 300 new Snapcrap users each day.
The app could prove to be helpful. But it might not be very pleasant for the city employees who'll be receiving all these poop pictures.
First published Oct. 9, 4:07 p.m. PT.
Update, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m.: Adds comment from San Francisco Public Works.