A city in Japan is trying to crack down on dog fouling by asking people to take photos of any canine mess they encounter and upload the images to a new app.
The authorities in Izumisano, in central Osaka Prefecture, are trying out the new method after years of failed attempts to solve the city's dog mess problem, the Asahi Shimbun website reports. Locals are invited to post comments detailing the scene alongside their photo submissions, and the app uses GPS location data from their smartphones to create an interactive online map.
"We don't go and collect it right away when there's a post," an official from the city's environmental and sanitation department tells the paper. Instead, the map allows the authorities to keep track of problem areas, and amend the patrol routes of the city's dedicated dog mess cleaning team, known as the "uncollected poop G-men". The G-men were set up in 2012 after a string of initiatives including fines and a tax on dog owners failed to solve the problem.
As well as dog fouling, the app can also be used to report roads which are in need of repair, or damage caused by natural disasters. So far, it seems those issues are more pressing for local people - all of the posts currently displayed on the map relate to potholes or pavements that need fixing.
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