Twitter API enables geotagging

November 20th, 2009

Twitter turned on its API for geotagging tweets yesterday, as announce in in a post on their blog, Think Globally, Tweet Locally. Currently, geographic information will only be associated with your tweets if you use an application that adds it and will only be used to display your tweets when viewed with an application that can exploit it. Here’s the way Twitter described it.

“This release is unique in that it’s API-only which means you won’t see any changes on, yet. Instead, Twitter applications like Birdfeed, Seesmic Web, Foursquare, Gowalla, Twidroid, Twittelator Pro and others are already supporting this new functionality (go try them out now!) in interesting ways that include geotagging your tweets and displaying the location from where a tweet was posted.”

Examining Twitter’s status update API description shows how one associates a location with a Tweet. Pretty simple.

Since disclosing your location raises privacy concerns, Twitter has made geotagging an opt-in service and also allows users to delete all of the location information associated with their tweets. Moreover, their policy, as described here, says

“We require application developers to be upfront and obvious about when they are Geotagging an update. If you ever find that an application is doing it without notifying you, please let us know.”

Twitter has updated its privacy policy to cover location information.

You can read more on ReadWriteWeb and Techcrunch.