Find a fountain, go beyond the tap.
Alina, Jennifer, Christine
Fountain Finder is a mobile-friendly web application with a map that locates all of the drinking fountains in New York City. Fountain Finder emphasizes the importance of being more environmentally-conscious by encouraging people to use less plastic water bottles and instead, to use the drinking fountains and refill stations that are publicly available to them for free.
Today, most Americans purchase plastic, disposable water bottles. About 50 billion are purchased every year, but only 20% of those bottles are recycled. The rest either end up in landfill, taking up to 1000 years to decompose, or in our oceans, floating around as debris and harming precious wildlife. Plastic bottles are not only cost-expensive, but also resource-expensive. Our goal was to find a way to reduce single-use plastic consumption.
We created Fountain Finder to allow anyone in the NYC area to find a drinking fountain nearby. After finding a fountain with our app, you can drink water straight from the fountain or refill a reusable bottle. By encouraging people to use the publicly-available drinking fountains around them, we hope that they will use less disposable, plastic bottles and be more environmentally-friendly.
It was difficult to convert all of our data (over 800 entries) into a format that our map API could read. We solved this problem by creating spreadsheets and experimenting with different online converters until we stumbled across one that helped us tremendously.