Nov 07

Westminster privy information on the loos

FT + Proven By Science2 comments • 506 views

Pedestrians in Wetminster, sorry, Westminster, who need to make a branch may text the word “toilet” to 80097 and get directions to the nearest public convenience for 25p.

The Register reports that the system was designed by a student named Gail Knight and is dubbed Sat Lav. It uses the phone masts closest to the desperate SMSer’s mobile phone to triangulate her approximate location.

The system is run by Westminster Council, so its emissions are less than gratifying if one attempts to get directions outside the council’s boundaries. A text from Holborn, for instance, provoked suggestions to walk to Leicester Square, Covent Garden or the Strand, missing out the public toilets at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

No word yet if texting “lavatory” returns more upmarket results.


  1. 1

    modern maffs snap-quiz:
    will this work better if the density of public conveniences is greater than the density of telephone masts or vice versa?

    (answer possibly depends a bit what “triangulate” means here)

  2. 2
    Pete Baran on 29 Nov 2007 #

    Its actually a bit tricky because in a heavy pop dense are like Westminster there are hundred of masts which means that if MAST A misses your call, mast B can pick it up. BUT MAST B is further away and hence the toilet will be further away.

    Also it depends a bit on what triangulate means here.

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