Tap CEO Samuel Ian Rosen told Seeker that stage two of the Tap plan is to expand the geomapping service, via crowdsourcing, to list additional drinking fountains and refill stations. Tap users can upload their own listings of available water sources much in the way that Waze users report road hazards or vehicle accidents.
“We built a very simple uploader tool that lets you walk up to a water fountain, take a picture, put it on a map, and report if it's broken or needs repair,” Rosen explained. “It's a way for us to map our own existing water infrastructure.”
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The ultimate goal of the project, Rosen said, is to create a database of “millions” of water sources and make refillable water bottles as convenient as one-time-use plastic bottles.
“You know, we've been marketed to,” he said. “We've been told: ‘Here, water is conveniently available for you in these plastic bottles and you can buy your own water back.’ It's crazy that the government allows companies to package up our own water and sell it back to us.”
Rosen is deeply worried about climate change and pollution. One of the main reasons he developed the Tap system, he said, is that he wanted to devote himself to finding solutions for the planet’s resource problems. Rosen referred to The Limits of Growth, a famous MIT computer study from 1972 that predicted societal and environmental collapse by 2070 due to population growth, pollution, and a decline in natural resources.