The Case for Geography

If you’re fascinated by maps, geography, and geographical differences, then here’s a couple of suggestions to eat into your spare time.  It’s one thing to think that you’re on top of everything; it’s quite another to poke around and realize that you really aren’t.

Geographic Trending
For a while now, Twitter has given us the concept of trending topics.  In the beginning, they reflected trending topics from anyone who is using the service.  However, now, you can take a look at things trending on location.  Just head to the Twitter homepage and look for the Trending tab and change it to your area of interest.  Immediately, the list of trending topics are localized to your choice.  How cool is that?  Not surprisingly, “iPad” and “Haiti” seem to be trending everywhere as I check this.

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Geographical Twittering
Bing has done a terrific job of mashing Twitter messages with it’s mapping service.  And, if you’ve got Silverlight installed on your computer, the experience is greatly enhanced.  Just head over to what Bing calls Map Apps (say that quickly ten times!) and choose Twitter Maps.

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From there, you’ll be presented with the world – literally!  Find a geographic location of interest and zoom in to the appropriate level and enjoy the Twitter Messages that are local to your map view.  As I write this entry, North America is just waking up so I’ve decided to see what’s happening in Melbourne.

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It is most effective if people have elected to turn on the geotagging features from the setting page of your Twitter account.  This will be an individual decision.  By default, it is turned off.

So, you have yet another couple of ways to enjoy the ongoing discussions that Twitter offers.  Yet another way to explain things when your friends “don’t get it”.

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