A new app to become an undercover environmentalist

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The Independent Online

The EcoSnoop social networking application, launched December 16, allows users to document bad environmental behavior in their communities, share it with fellow microbloggers, and work together to find a solution. The application relies on both the camera and GPS features of the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Imagine you see an office building with all its lights on, even though the business is closed. Or you spot a public faucet with a steady leak. Simply open an EcoSnoop case, including a photo and any relevant information. Using GPS, EcoSnoop will tag the case so that other local EcoSnoopers can see it on their maps, then provide comments and suggestions on how to resolve the situation.

According to the creators of EcoScoop, here's where the do-gooding begins. One of these EcoSnoopers can now walk into the building the next day with the evidence, the support of others in the community, and a plan of action. If a resolution is put in place, the case is tagged as resolved and the location given a "green thumbs up." A directory of all such businesses helps users to find green commerce in their area.

In addition to the iPhone app, EcoSnoop.com provides a searchable case directory and is also expected to offer monitoring tools to local governments, universities, and businesses.

The EcoSnoop app is available to US customers as a free, ad-supported version, or as an ad-free version for $1.99. Elsewhere, users can buy the app for €1.49. EcoSnoop plans to expand to platforms including Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Palm.