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Pinpointing Public Toilets: A Community Call to Action!
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:
Whilst modern GPS receivers are good they will not work underground or inside shops within larger overall structures such as Meadow Hall or the Trafford Center - if you do manage to get a position fix it is probably going to quite inaccurate due to signal attenuation.

Sorry, I was thinking (and how were you to know!) about e-GPS which would take you straight to the toilet location within such buildings.

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Also consider how this is intended to work - if people post in locations way off the road network a car based device will refuse to provide a route to it, if it doesn't work on the car based navigation devices in a reliable way then I cannot see much interest in updating it by the members of this site who currently are mainly using road based devices.

Good point. To complicate matters further maybe we need both a vehicle location and a pedestrian one?!
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pcaouolte
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobBrady wrote:
We've been discussing this internally and it looks like the best option to go forward is to create a new category and sub-categories.
...
This is just a draft list for discussion, so no doubt will change with feedback/additions.

Shouldn't some sort of decision on this be taken sooner rather than later to avoid having to move all of the submisions already made into the appropriate sub-category?
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's a bit of a dilemma. I think we should get it right first time rather than go for the overhaul straight away and keep changing it due to ongoing feedback. Hopefully it shouldn't be too long before we take the jump though Smile
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pcaouolte
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobBrady wrote:

Rather than "Community" / "Public toilets", we'd promote "Public Toilets" to the main category then include sub categories such as:

Public Authority
Super Loos (paid)
Cafe/Restaurant
Department Store
Shopping Centre/Mall
Petrol Station
Parks/Recreation Areas
Temporary (events such as Glastonbury, V Festival etc.)
Leisure and Entertainment Complexes (theatres, cinemas, concert halls, sports venues, swimming pools (no peeing in the pool!) etc.)

This is just a draft list for discussion, so no doubt will change with feedback/additions.

Ok, my contribution to the discussion: I am quite happy with the current single catergory. If you choose to separate them into sub-categories I will still be happy as I can combine them back into a single category when I download them.
The headings above are fine but I don't know how the temporary one would work as the toilets tend to move around each time the event is held so you will get the location of them added after the event is finished - not much use.
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tjs1977
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have to admit always been a beliver of KISS -- Keep it simple stu*pid -- why over complicate it -- if we put a toilet in a supermarket, store, or shopping centre do we really need to say where it is .. i mean cant they find it on there own and if they cant errrr ok. Shocked

Yes brake them down to to diffrent kinds of loo if needed but the more compex we make it the harder it is to keep upto date and right.. just my thoughts though Smile

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DennisN
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too would combine into a single one for my purposes. I frankly don't care about quality when the urge takes me - I could not spare the time to drive past a bucket behind a screen in order to go to some immaculate superloo. As I write, there are about 450 in the present database, presumably none of which have any such identities or sub-categories.

Temporary seems a mistake - your example of Glastonbury being a strong case in point. Ordinary drivers cannot even approach Glastonbury during the festival - you don't get through the police cordon and onto the minor roads leading to it unless you have an entrance ticket and unless you join all the illegals trying to take on the 30 foot high steel boundary fence, you won't get inside to any of the toilets either. Even at more accessible public events like on the Bath & West Showground, you need car park, then an entrance ticket first.
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trevor.dowle
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tjs1977 wrote:
Have to admit i think supermarkets, department stores etc should be included (always the posibility we will buy stuff in there shops) and alot of them do have cafes etc in them :?

things such as railway stations, pay for loos, shopping centers, park and rides


Not sure that I agree with that. Everyone knows that premises of this type have toilet facilities.
I think we should confine ourselves to recording locations of public toilets particularly those outside of main shopping areas, otherwise the database will be huge.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with posters about the KISS principle.

Most if not everyone knows about loos in supermarkets, shops, fast food, pubs etc etc.
Public toilets is the way to go.

As already stated, some are closed 'out of season', but that season can be different in different parts of the country. Some are close weekends if the concil don't staff them.
The variations are going to be endless, and trying to cater for all the different ones would probably make the data base unworkable.

I would be advantages to be able to list disabled facilities though.
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DennisN wrote:
Temporary seems a mistake - your example of Glastonbury being a strong case in point. Ordinary drivers cannot even approach Glastonbury during the festival - you don't get through the police cordon and onto the minor roads leading to it unless you have an entrance ticket and unless you join all the illegals trying to take on the 30 foot high steel boundary fence, you won't get inside to any of the toilets either. Even at more accessible public events like on the Bath & West Showground, you need car park, then an entrance ticket first.

I was thinking only of those that are attending the festivals. Somewhat along the lines of what Darren did for the World Rally Championships.

Picture the scene... join a queue of 100 people... think, I can't wait that long... look for an alternative. Mind you the alternative loo will probably have another queue of 100 people as well!
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trevor.dowle wrote:
Everyone knows that premises of this type have toilet facilities.


But they may not know about that particular premises if they are not local to that area, i.e. if they don't know that there is a Debenhams in the area, they therefore would not know that it contained a toilet. How could they?
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aj2052
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another in favour of K.I.S.S,
Quote:
RobBrady wrote:

Rather than "Community" / "Public toilets", we'd promote "Public Toilets" to the main category then include sub categories such as:

Public Authority
Super Loos (paid)
Cafe/Restaurant
Department Store
Shopping Centre/Mall
Petrol Station
Parks/Recreation Areas
Temporary (events such as Glastonbury, V Festival etc.)
Leisure and Entertainment Complexes (theatres, cinemas, concert halls, sports venues, swimming pools (no peeing in the pool!) etc.)

This is just a draft list for discussion, so no doubt will change with feedback/additions.

Somehow I dont think people will be paying the high admission charges for the latter venues, and also in practice you will find that most public conveniences are closed out of hours due to vandalism and other unwanted activities.
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DennisN wrote:
I too would combine into a single one for my purposes. I frankly don't care about quality when the urge takes me - I could not spare the time to drive past a bucket behind a screen in order to go to some immaculate superloo.


In principle I would agree with you and I have never turned tail in a British loo, no matter how unclean I thought it was Sad

But bearing in mind this will hopefully encompass many other countries, last year in the US I did turn tail and would have been extremely grateful for an alternative recommendation! And my wife has had at least a dozen I am so not going in there! moments in our travels around India, Africa etc.
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Robert Brady
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aj2052 wrote:
Another in favour of K.I.S.S,
Quote:
RobBrady wrote:

Rather than "Community" / "Public toilets", we'd promote "Public Toilets" to the main category then include sub categories such as:

Public Authority
Super Loos (paid)
Cafe/Restaurant
Department Store
Shopping Centre/Mall
Petrol Station
Parks/Recreation Areas
Temporary (events such as Glastonbury, V Festival etc.)
Leisure and Entertainment Complexes (theatres, cinemas, concert halls, sports venues, swimming pools (no peeing in the pool!) etc.)

This is just a draft list for discussion, so no doubt will change with feedback/additions.

Somehow I dont think people will be paying the high admission charges for the latter venues, and also in practice you will find that most public conveniences are closed out of hours due to vandalism and other unwanted activities.

I think most loos in such venues are in the area before you have to show your ticket for entry, but that does seem a little unfair for the venue if you use their facilities and you are not a paying customer.

However, I've heard that for every 10 people who stop to use a loo at petrol stations, at least one or two stop to buy something in the shop.
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pcaouolte wrote:
The headings above are fine but I don't know how the temporary one would work as the toilets tend to move around each time the event is held so you will get the location of them added after the event is finished - not much use.

Similar to the arrangement that we had with Subaru and the World Rally Championships, we would get the details from the event organisers before the start of each festival.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still not sold on the idea of listing shops etc with a loo.

For example, Brent Cross has toilets on the 2nd floor, you can't drive there. Everyone knows shopping malls etc has toilets. If people don't know they are in a shopping Mall or in a town center, then it's not a SatNav they need.

If we are going to list all of these, then we already have thousands of shops/pubs/attractions/cafes/stations etc listed in the POI index and can copy them straight across to the new database.
That would be the job half done - or more.

Opening times and access for disabled/nappy changing is an idea. But those details don't show on all SatNavs, so I'm told.

I just think there is a danger of over complicating a good idea.
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