For travelers, SitOrSquat has the answer to important toilet questions

Aug 24, 2009

When I traveled through Italy, the game was to find the “holy trifecta” of bathrooms: one with a toilet seat, toilet paper and hand soap. China was much the same, only trade toilet seat for western toilet. If only I had Densebrain’s SitorSquat app for iPhone or iPod touch to help me in my quest. […]

When I traveled through Italy, the game was to find the “holy trifecta” of bathrooms: one with a toilet seat, toilet paper and hand soap. China was much the same, only trade toilet seat for western toilet. If only I had Densebrain’s SitorSquat app for iPhone or iPod touch to help me in my quest.

Currently sponsored by Charmin, SitOrSquat relies entirely on users like you and me to locate and submit information on restroom facilities around the world. Users can provide ratings, comments, images and a description of any submitted toilet, along with noting if it has any special features such as changing tables, high-speed hand dryers or an attendant.

SitOrSquat’s database is rife with Starbucks and gas stations, but isn’t fool proof.

One restroom I found pinpointed in Chicago’s Lincoln Park actually had a Texas address attached to it. Not to mention that the business closed several months ago. The closest restroom SitOrSquat found to my apartment was in the grocery store across the street, however, it’s listed as a Starbucks-Albertsons. The Starbucks has been gone from the Jewel-Osco for at least three years (Albertson’s owns Jewel, but even locals might not make the connection).

Users who take the time to write detailed directions to toilets are SitOrSquat’s crown jewel. One restroom I found in Rome had this key information “Enter this [five-star] hotel as if you are staying there and no one will stop you. Walk through the magnificent lobby directly to the back stairs. Go downstairs to find the clearly marked magnificent spacious bathrooms.” That’s information you can’t buy in any guidebook.

The program’s achingly slow load time, occasional crashing and sometime inability to pinpoint my GPS location lowered its overall rating, so SitOrSquat has some work to do to hit five stars.

If user interaction continues to expand the database, especially in Europe, SitOrSquat could quickly become a must-have traveling companion.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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