GIS, Twitter Trackers and Mash-ups

Crisis Mapping by ESRI

My initial interest in this subject stems from my Masters Project and a map I found of a social media tracker of Tahrir Square during the uprisings beginning January 25th, 2011. The map is no longer accessible. Official word from ESRI is that it was taken down because the protests are over. I did, however, find these active maps of Libya and the Occupy Movement (look for the OM to pick back up when the weather improves).

Libya Social Media Tracker

Occupy Movement Social Media Tracker

The possibilities of this technology is provocative. Imagine how these maps could be leveraged in the event of a natural disaster when information on the ground is limited and highly disorganized. It relies heavily on Volunteer Geographic Information. I’m not sure how useful this is if communications go down, anyone remember the Detroit/Toronto/New York blackout? This technology can only work if the information being tracked is geo-tagged. Tweets are and you can geo-tag photos and video. Some cameras automatically geo-tag photos.

Esri sent me this link which very roughly lays out how to recreate these maps.

Alternative Mash-ups

While the above information could be considered a mash-up, I was interested if any other similar mash-ups existed and especially if they were on platforms or used technology that was easier to work with or which may provide for a more forward starting point.

Twitter Mash-up

This application allows you to select which map supplier you want to use for the mash-up

Geo Chirp Google Maps Mash-up

This Mash-up is probably my favorite and actually does everything I wanted to do for the class so I’m not sure why I would recreate it. I am looking for alternatives. You can serch by tweet content, and distance from a location. The only change I would make is to move the tweet list to the sidebar.


This application is still in beta but I thought the flood of tweets onto the screen was awesome. Here is the Google apps page where you can find different api’s to mash-up with Google’s products.