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It seems like bathroom locators are all the rage these days. We reviewed Diaroogle this past summer and there’s the popular MizPee as well. Today we have learned about a new NY-based startup that is joining the toilet-finder bunch. It’s called SitOrSquat and it has the best interface of all of the sites we’ve tried so far. The map function shows you not only toilet locations but also which locations are currently open.
There’s a variety of mobile functionality for the iPhone and Blackberry and I assume it works on Windows Mobile as well. What I like is that they provide directions to the toilet – this helps you remain covert as many places in NYC won’t allow you just to use the facilities. The only issue I noticed while using the site is that you can’t pick up a link for a toilet based on the url structure they are using. They should offer this as an option so that their pages could be ranked in Google – no sense in losing the SEO credit.
Currently they have data for NYC, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas, Miami and Chicago.
The company has posted for "toilet finders" in NYC and will pay $1/toilet found. They are looking to house data on 3,000 toilets in Manhattan – this would provide pretty decent coverage. It appears that their business model is based on selling ads to hotels and tourism companies for spaces on the map along with possible sponsored toilets. Could be an interesting business model – get new business by allowing people to use the toilet.
If you live, work or play in Manhattan you know that finding a bathroom when you need one is typically not easy. Most signs say either "no bathroom" or "bathroom only for customers" and those bathrooms you do find are normally filthy and probably carry more diseases than a rat. Most NY’ers have their bathroom list in memory. I know that most Starbucks have bathrooms (although there is normally a line) and most McDonalds have semi-clean bathrooms. Outside of those 2 companies, it’s hit or miss.
A new startup launched last week to help with this problem. The site is named Diaroogle and their mission is simple; help people find a clean bathroom when they need it. Enter an address and find public restrooms with ratings and photos (yuck).
There’s a mobile app because when you need to go, you need to go. Josh at Webware says the mobile app lacks a map and any GPS-style positioning so you will be typing with your legs crossed. Clearly in this case the mobile app is what will make or break Diaroogle.
The Google Maps integration works but I would prefer that the bathroom list auto-update as you pan around the city and/or zoom in. Similar to how Yelp handles the map movement.
Currently Diaroogle is in Beta and only available for Manhattan so if you want to use it, move here. They do have plans to expand outside Manhattan. Competitor MizPee is currently the leader in the public toilet space.