Across China: E-map eases toilet worries in Chinese cities
TIANJIN, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Veteran taxi driver Zhu Wenli uses Chinese mobile mapping service Gaode Map not just for planning his route, but often for locating a nearby public toilet in north China's Tianjin Municipality.
The popular navigation app owned by AutoNavi Software Co., Ltd. recently released the 2022 National Public Toilet Atlas, ranking Tianjin among the country's top 10 cities in terms of the number of public toilets that people can search on its e-map.
"The ranking is the result of combing the online search and navigation data of public toilets in nearly 100 cities in 2021," said Shi Wei, head of Gaode Map Products.
China has made solid progress in its "toilet revolution," which has helped to increase the number of public toilets in cities and improve the hygiene standards of toilets in rural areas.
With 29 years of taxi-driving experience in Tianjin, Zhu said before the use of the toilet e-map, he and some of his passengers risked being stuck on the roadside in times of need.
Since 2018, the Tianjin municipal authorities have placed QR codes on the doors of public toilets across the city, allowing people to log on to the toilet e-map.
"There are more than 2,600 public toilets in the city that have been included in the program. People can find the locations on their mobile phones at any time," said Jiao Chunbao, director of the environmental sanitation department of the municipal urban management committee.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Gaode Map has launched an e-map of tourist toilets, providing an online mapping service linking 130,000 public toilets at over 20,000 tourist sites across the country.
Shi said the company has been refining the search functions by showing on the e-maps whether the restrooms have barrier-free facilities, or whether there is a toilet with parking available.
"Easy access to public toilets is among the measures of a civilized society. New technology offers people convenience in time of urgent need to avoid misbehavior," said Zhang Baoyi, with the Tianjin Academy of Social Sciences.
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