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Twitter is a social network based on a simple web/phone sms/messenger text box asking simply ‘what are you doing?’ It is unique in terms of social networks as there are applications that allow ‘Tweets’ – that’s Twitter for ‘Posts’ to be visualised geographically. As such it is no longer a social network existing in the ether such as MySpace, instead it is a unique realtime, global insight into what people are doing right now.

In previous posts we have looked at Twitter Maps and Twitter Vision, both interesting applications, allowing the geographic data posted with Twitter to be visualised. Yesterday we got a comment on the blog from Fresh Logic Studios, the developers of Atlas, about their new Twitter Visualisation:

Fresh Logics approach is to use GeoRSS and Atlas to load Twitter feeds every 5 seconds as an overlay to the mapping interface. This takes a step forward, compared to say TwitterVision, as it also provides a sidebar listing the latest Tweets.

To emphasise the geographic nature of the Twitter Network, if you select the ‘Street View’ option the interface zooms each Tweet to the local location. The above image is from a user in Vienna, complete with Tweet and location. The ability to view someones Tweet, image and location seconds after they have sent it is both fascinating and slightly worrying. Expect a lot of papers from Social Scientists in the near future. Come to think of it we have just included Twitter in a book chapter entitled The Visual City, coming soon…

We will have more on Atlas in future posts, of note is their similar application using Flickr.

Take a look at the Twitter Visualisation using Atlas (warning you could spend hours just watching it).

More about Fresh Logic Studios.

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