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Snapcrap app steps in to take on public poop

[SAN FRANCISCO]  A freshly launched Snapcrap app is out to turn San Francisco smartphone users into poop-spotters.

The free mobile app invites people to share location-tagged pictures of public piles of poo with city works crews whose job it is to clean it up.

The application plays into its purpose with a logo of a stylized turn on a yellow background in what appears to be a parody of image and video sharing social network Snapchat.

Snapcrap uses GPS capabilities in smartphones to pinpoint locations of piles of poop in pictures, then lets people send the information in alerts to municipal services.

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In an interview with local media, Snapcrap creator Sean Miller told of being chagrined by the amount of dog and human waste he had to sidestep on streets after moving to San Francisco.

Miller said the app was designed to make it simple to report poop sightings, avoiding hassle of using the official San Francisco system.

While the launch of Snapcrap this month inspired playful potty humor, it underscored a serious concern about homelessness in San Francisco and throughout Silicon Valley, where housing prices have skyrocketed in the booming tech economy.

Famous as home to tech companies, San Francisco also has a reputation for people living on its streets and relieving themselves on streets or walkways.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a city public works line receives scores of calls daily from residents reporting poop to be cleaned.

The problem has grown so dire that earlier this year the city launched a poop patrol: a small team of workers devoted predominately to roaming a "Tenderloin" neighborhood known for its homeless population to find and clean away waste.

AFP