~GSoC2010: Ankit Guglani GeoSpatial Visualizations.

anildash edited this page Mar 26, 2011 · 1 revision

To nicely visualize geographic location from whence a status updates originate without compromising privacy.

Major Task:
1.] Retrieving per-status location information (from various networks)
2.] Reverse geo-code the coordinations
3.] Clean up the location for privacy
4.] Make awesome visualizations

Proposed Implementation (and rationale):
1.] Twitter (and other networks whose) API allows access to location of tweets (where available — for recent tweets); can be hooked into the crawler.

*Note: Profile crawling will also need to be updated to include location information (already in place for Twitter).

2. & 3. ] Twitter provides city and neighbourhood level granularity on reverse geocode lookups. Example:


This solves the privacy problem 3, but unfortunately only works for the US as of now, so it’s a no go.

Google is the only one that seems to provide reverse geo-coding service around the world, that’s any good. The problem with google is, the address returned is formatted based on Country, administrative_area_level_1, administrative_area_level_2 which is a bit tricky to use. In US administrative_area_level_1 would mean something like California where as in a small country like say Singapore administrative_area_level_1 would already be a neighbourhood. So with some compromise we can still use Google (i.e. always go for say administrative_area_level_1).

We could also go a step further and setup rules to pick the right administrative_area_level based on the country returned, but it would take quite some effort to populate such a list.

*Note: Google Maps TOS requires that if you use Google APIs to do reverse geo-coding, the results should displayed on a Google Map

4.] Here’s a mock up of something that may be used: http://arcane.110mb.com/timemap/example/tttwitter.html … since it uses a google map (along with Simile), it should satisfy the terms of service.

The placemarkers can be changed to represent the originating network, so multiple networks can all appear in the same timemap.

Additional Stuff:
> This will need a template for the new page.
> There will need to be a fall-back mechanism to visualize tweets w/o location from a profile w/o location.
> There will need to be multiple views of this — tweets from a certain location / tweets in response to a certain tweet / tweets during a certain time period. — This will need some figuring out.

Author Notes:
This is 1 of 2 projects that I’d like to propose for ThinkTank as part of GSoC. (personally I prefer the other one, found here: http://wiki.github.com/ginatrapani/thinktank/gsoc-ankit-guglani-social-network-analysis )

More about me, here: http://ankitguglani.wordpress.com (in dire need of an update).

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