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French students launch anti-dog poo mobile app

Three Paris students horrified at the mounds of dog poo on their streets and in their parks have launched a smartphone application that lets users "flag" unwelcome messes.


Three French students believe they have solved the particularly French problem of dog poo littering the country’s pavements – with a free smartphone app they hope will shame pet owners and local authorities into cleaning up their act.

“Poople Maps” is the brainchild of Eléna Domerq, Josselin Caer and Barbara Rétif, IT students at the Sarcelles Technical College in the northern Parisian suburbs.

“The objective isn’t simply to help users know where there will be lots of dog mess,” Domerq told Le Parisien newspaper.

“The main idea is that the application will show local authorities that they have a problem and to motivate them to find some solutions.”

Solutions, she told Le Parisien newspaper, could include providing on-street plastic bag dispensers and intensifying cleaning efforts, as well as communicating to local residents the importance of picking up after their dogs.

Just launched, Poople Maps has a growing following of mostly Parisian users who are fed up with the ubiquity of what the French call “étrons” on their streets.

For the moment the application, which lets users “geolocalise” individual dog messes, is only accessible through a smartphone browser, rather than as a downloaded app. It can be accessed from “flashing” a barcode or going directly to the website.

The creators say Poople Maps will soon be available to download through Google’s Play Store and Apple Store.

“We know we’ll never achieve total victory over the scourge of dog mess,” the creators say on the site. “There will always be a poo that gets through the net. But we hope that this application will reduce the volume, and that will be a victory in itself.”

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