Technical.ly Baltimore

Sep. 4, 2012 9:30 am

Twittervision: 410 Labs’ Dave Troy collects Baltimore residents’ geocoded tweets

Map where tweets are coming from and you might get some context about those places or even those 140-character messages. That’s the idea behind Twittervision, a new project inspired by the unWIREd unconference put on by the Greater Baltimore Technology Council in August. It’s a collection of files cataloging city residents’ geotagged Twitter messages from […]

Map where tweets are coming from and you might get some context about those places or even those 140-character messages.

That’s the idea behind Twittervision, a new project inspired by the unWIREd unconference put on by the Greater Baltimore Technology Council in August. It’s a collection of files cataloging city residents’ geotagged Twitter messages from mobile devices with location awareness, and others have already used the files to better visualize the data.

In a post on the Baltimore Tech Facebook group, Dave Troy of 410 Labs, who is compiling the tweets, said that he “reverse geocoded the lat[itude]-lon[gitude] coordinates to view specific street addresses.” In other words, people can see exactly from where tweets are sent. Since Aug. 27 Troy has been cataloging tweets, and he plans to add two new data files to the Twittervision page each day: one file in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format for mapping, and one file in text format for easy reading.

Already Charm City Networks’ Chris Whong has taken Twittervision one step further. Using the tweets Troy compiled in JSON  format, Whong mapped out 24 hours’ worth of Baltimore tweets sent on Aug. 27.

As Troy argues on the Baltimore Tech Facebook group, mapping these geocoded tweets can provide some context as to what “Baltimore’s low-income neighborhoods are thinking and feeling.”

“Everybody likes to talk about the digital divide, and assume that rich folks are the only ones on social media, etc.,” he writes. “Increasingly, that’s just not true. We’re just as segregated online as we are offline.”

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is a freelance journalist in Philadelphia and the former lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. Before moving to Philadelphia in June 2014, he was a contributing writer to Baltimore City Paper and a Tech Check commentator for WYPR 88.1 FM, Baltimore city’s National Public Radio affiliate. He has written for The Atlantic, Outside, Richmond magazine, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Baltimore Style magazine, Next City, Grist.org, The Atlantic Cities, and elsewhere.

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