You guys, I think this is a dream come true!
If you’re ever in NYC, especially if you’re a tourist, it’s not always easy to find a public toilet. Some places let anyone use the facilities, some only allow customers and clients to use them. You might go past a public restroom but not want to use it because based on smell and visuals alone, who knows what’s been going on in there. You may be in the middle of a residential area (they exist!) and just not know where the nearest bathroom that’s open to the public is. And let’s face it…sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta GO, right?
Well, Dr. Wansoo Im, who has his PhD in Urban Planning, has developed a fix for that. An Associate Professor at Meharry Medical College and a former Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University, Dr. Im is a pioneer of interactive, web/mobile-based Geographic Information Systems to support community-based participation and research on a wide range of social and environmental issues. Dr. Im’s projects have included nationwide watershed maps, maps of potential mosquito breeding grounds that could contribute to the spread of the Zika virus, and a mapping project of operating gas stations in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. But the best project he’s worked on, at least for tourists, is the one where he’s developed a community participation-based interactive map of every available restroom in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island.