got-toilet-paper? There is a website for that!

The Pitt Smart Living team created a mobile-friendly web site to help Pittsburgh-area grocers figure out which times are best for visiting a store and what items are in-stock/out-of-stock during these challenging times. Our goal is to make everybody’s lives a bit easier during the pandemic and help flatten the curve of people visiting grocery stores.

The web site is immediately accessible at

No download or registration is required. It works on any mobile smartphone equipped with a web browser. It also works on laptops or desktop computers, although the location-based features will not be as accurate.

How it works

The got-toilet-paper? website works in two modes:

  • View existing data — shoppers can search for a particular store on a map centered in downtown Pittsburgh and then select the store of interest to see:
    • information about how busy the store typically is and how busy it currently is (using data provided by Google), and
    • information about essential items being in-stock/out-of-stock. We report when was the last time information was submitted and use data only from the last 3 days.
  • Contribute new data — shoppers can submit information about how crowded a store is and whether certain items are in-stock or out-of-stock. We only allow reports for up to 3 hours in the past.

The list of stores currently in the system is available at

Sample screenshots are shown below:


How to help

  1. Please use the got-toilet-paper? website the next time you go to a grocery store in the Pittsburgh area. Use it to view information and also contribute information for others to use!
  2. Please help promote the website through social media. Please tag us (@PittSmartLiving) on Twitter or Facebook.
  3. If you are a store manager, please contact us (got-toilet-paper AT to add authoritative information about your store and become a partner (especially as we are looking to extend its functionality). The service is free.
  4. If you are a journalist, please help us raise awareness of the got-toilet-paper? website. Feel free to reach out (got-toilet-paper AT if you need more information.

Who did this?

This app was put together in an agile way by the following members of the Pitt Smart Living team:

  • Programmer: Kristi Bushman
  • Faculty: Alex Labrinidis (main contact), Kostas Pelechrinis, Sera Linardi
  • Postdoc: Robizon Khubulashvili
  • PhD student: Mallory Avery

and is funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh, through their support of the Pitt Smart Living project.