Today in a note and email from the Twitter API Team, Twitter has outlined upcoming changes to its gelocation API.
As it stands now, users can create “geo-tweets,” or Tweets that are tagged with very specific GPS coordinates. The level of specificity unnerves some users who are wary to give away such personal and actionable information.
Twitter is out to make that all much better. The upcoming changes include giving coordinates context, turning them into locations. People “inherently want to talk about a “place”. a place, for a lot of people, has a name and is not a latitude and longitude pair.” Look out Foursquare? At the moment, just what a location means and how it will be created and manged is unclear.
Twitter does highlight code examples as to how a tweet will be tagged in SoMa, but how the location is first built is still not specified. Developers, if I have this wrong, drop a note in the comments.
Twitter is also going to “help users who aren’t comfortable annotating their tweets with their exact coordinates, but, instead, are really happy to say what city, or even neighborhood, they are in.” This of course will give users a variety of privacy options, giving everyone a level that they are comfortable with.
Finally, “annotating your place with a name does that too,” meaning that new API upgrades will be flexible enough to handle location in many new configurations.
Big upcoming upgrades that are going to help Twitter continue to grow and improve. Of course, this will do nothing to solve Twitter’s continuing problem: uptime.
This “first pass” will only apply to US data, sadly. This will b rapidly expanded. Twitter also requests that all questions are sent to @TwitterAPI.
Hat tip @zacwitte.