Armchair Travel With Twitter Search
The location feature built into Twitter’s search engine makes it easy to get an instant, live photo gallery from anywhere in the world. For example, the images below are a bunch of photos that Tokyo Twitter users uploaded during a short span one day last month.
To get a list of photos like these:
- Head over to Twitter’s search engine, and then click on “Advanced search.”
- In the “Words > All of these words” section, type in “twitpic” or “yfrog” — this will search for tweets that include a link to Twitpic or YFrog, two popular Twitter photo services.
- In the “Places > Near this place” section, type in a city name. We’ll do Tokyo.
You’ll get a list of 15 tweets containing Twitpic URLs whose senders have location within 15 miles of Tokyo. (The search query box will look like “twitpic near:tokyo within:15mi” — you can just type that string in next time.)
The limitation today is that Twitter’s location feature is based on the location that the user has filled in manually on their profile settings page. So if your profile has your location listed as “New York,” but you’re on vacation in Paris, it’s still going to think your photos are from New York. This despite many Twitter users having built-in GPS services to “tag” the image with their real-time location — on an iPhone, for example. (Obviously a place for future improvement, and in practice, not a deal-breaker.)