BY BOB HOLT
A group of students from Franklin High School in Somerset is doing their part to help those hit the hardest by Hurricane Sandy find available gasoline.
Members of a group known as IMSOCIO have devised a map that locates open gas stations in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. They are being led by Dayana Bustamante, who graduated in May.
The project known as Mappler (http://www.mappler.net/gasstation/) has picked out about 100 stations in the area. It identifies stations with green pins indicating an open station, red pins meaning they are sold out of gas, and yellow signifying a charging station.
"I'm a bit shocked, I didn't think it'd be a big hit," Bustamante, now attending Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, said to The Huffington Post. "We just wanted to help.”
IMSOCIO, which stands for Scholars Organizing Culturally Innovative Opportunities, was organized by Rutgers professor Wansoo Im. He said, "This is a service learning project, by using mapping students can use technology to serve the community."
NBC Latino reported that Mappler launched on Wednesday night, and crashed one day later from becoming an instant hit. Bustamante says the project started out as a group of friends, but has expanded to include over 30 students. The group receives updates from the public, and also gets tips through Twitter.
“We didn’t think we’d make much of a difference but now we are,” says Bustamante. The Mappler project can be accessed here.