This is a project that I started at the DowncityJS hackathon, which aims to act as a location-centric twitter to find out what's going on nearby in realtime
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Node app that aims to be sort of a location-centric Twitter. Instead of feeds sorted by hashtags or lists of followers, feeds are grouped by location or event. This allows you to see where things are happening, as they happen.

The live app is running at


  • Real-time push updates when viewing a feed (using Redis and
  • Markdown support
  • oEmbed support for inline link previews
  • Google Maps integration
  • Deploys to RedHat OpenShift

Some boilerplate code was borrowed from:

This app was originally created during the Downcity JS hackathon in Providence, and took home the "Best Solo" prize!


If you want to improve/ modify/ deploy your own, here's how to start:

Copy sample_keys.js to keys.js and put in your proper values; also, edit any additional parameters in config.js.

For local development, you'll need Node.js, MongoDB and Redis installed.

# on mac: 
brew install node
brew install mongodb
brew install redis

# install node dependencies
npm install
npm install nodemon -g
nodemon app.js 


This app is meant to be deployed on Red Hat OpenShift PaaS, although it will work in any environment (e.g. nodejitsu or Heroku) where you have node, Mongo, Redis and support.

To deploy on OpenShift (replace values for mydomain and myapp below):

# create a new app
rhc domain create -n mydomain
rhc app create -t diy-0.1 -a myapp
rhc app cartridge add -a myapp -c mongodb-2.2

# pull this source into your app
git remote add xirqus -m master git://
git pull -s recursive -X theirs xirqus master
git push

Change values in .openshift/action_hooks/pre_build to change node or redis versions.
See openshift-diy-nodejs-redis for more details.

Note that you need to either checkin a version of keys.js or copy it to your RHC instance like so:

scp keys.js

then the post-build hook will symlink keys.js to the project dir ~/app-root/repo when you do a git push to rhc.

Finally, your app should be running at


  • Heat maps - instead of Google Maps markers, use circles with size/ color/ saturation/ transparency to represent different levels of activity
  • TTL on posts
  • Auto-generate demo data for live site
  • Location permalinks
  • Consider swapping Google Maps for Leaflet/ OSM
  • Use foursquare instead of Google Places (it sucks for venues that are not restaurants/ entertainment)
  • Authenticate the uid sent in posts (e.g. integrate w/ passport)
  • Twitter features - @user messaging, #hashtags, etc.