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Twitter Mashups And Poly9 FreeEarth

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 07:22:04 -0400
Archived: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 07:22:04 -0400
Subject: Twitter Mashups And Poly9 FreeEarth




Source: Network World - Southborough Massachusets, USA

http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/web/2007/1015web1.html

10/15/07

[Links embedded in article at site]


Twitter Mashups And Poly9 FreeEarth
A look at Twittervision and other cool Twitter applications

Web Applications Newsletter
By Mark Gibbs
Network World

Earlier this year I wrote about Twitter, which I described as
"blogging for people with a short attention span." Despite my
off-the-cuff sounding description I wasn't dismissing the
service - as I noted, "Twitter definitely has some very cool
features and applications."

My prediction has come true - Twitter has been used in a
remarkable number of mashups, some of which can be fairly
described as fascinating.

One of my favorites is Twittervision, which combines the content
and geographic location of Twitter postings with Google Maps to
create a continuously updated map showing the last effectively
random "tweet" from the previous 15 or 20 seconds.

The default display is a flat map projection, but the killer
presentation is the 3-D globe view that rotates to bring each
selected tweet to front center. This view is actually a service
provided by yet another site (making Twittervision a mashup
based on a mashup) named Poly9 FreeEarth a cross-browser, cross-
platform 3-D globe that has, in its own right, spawned dozens of
mashups (one of my favorites is the UFO sightings map):

[ http://www.ufomaps.com/?3d=1 ]

Poly9 FreeEarth is, as its name implies, free. You can add
FreeEarth to your Web site through some simple JavaScript and,
at present, no API key is required.

A related Twitter mashup is Twittermap. Again, this service is
all about mapping Tweets, but the focus here is localizing.
There are two parts to TwitterMap; where you are and the area
you select to view.

You document the places you are by sending Tweets in the form
"L:office=1 Electricity Street, Erewhon, XX 11111" (that is, a
location name followed by an address, but curiously latitude and
longitude coordinates aren't supported). Twittermap records all
public location Tweets along with your Twitter name so that
after the first time you specify a location you can simply reuse
it with the name of the a previous location Tweet (e.g.
"L:office").

The other part, the area you want to view, is selected through
the usual Google Maps presentation via the Twittermap mashup and
you can pan and zoom to the location you're interested in. The
map will show you markers for the last 100 Tweets for that area
and clicking on one will show you Twitter user name and the
actual text.

I find the whole Twitter universe fascinating because I have yet
to understand why it is so popular and for that matter why I
like it. What is definite is that Twitter is a service to watch,
and its mashups could turn out to be some of the most innovative
Web applications available.



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