Tag: Twitter

Add tweets using the Public Information template


Twitter is a free social networking microblogging service that allows users to broadcast short posts called tweets. It’s used widely by individuals, as well as federal and local government agencies, organizations, and businesses. Tweets can include location (a user account … Continue reading

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Tweet this! Update your apps that use Twitter


ArcGIS Online’s Make a Web Application gallery includes three templates that leverage the Twitter API to add geolocated tweets to your maps. Twitter recently announced updates to their API, and now requires authentication on all Twitter endpoints. For more information … Continue reading

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Using Social Media to #tag @your Map


Wondering what people are talking about in an area?  Would it be a nice addition to the data on your map?  We’ve got you covered! With the Social Media template, your web app can display what people are saying through … Continue reading

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Make Your Own Social Media Map (in 3 easy steps)


Want to know what’s going on with Hurricane Irene and see for yourself what folks on the ground are saying? Here’s how you can quickly make your own ArcGIS Online Hurricane Irene map, add geo-located tweets, and share your map with others in three quick and easy steps.

Step 1: Get your map

You can start off with a new map and hunt for services to add, but there’s no reason to do that when there are a number of hurricane maps already available that have been publicly shared. So we’ll start by going to ArcGIS.com and search for the keyword “Irene:”

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New tweet mapping template

A new template has been added to the ArcGIS.com map viewer template gallery that allows you to quickly map tweets of your choosing. Open any publicly shared map, click share:

Then choose make a web application:

And you’ll find the new template (named Azure Twitter) in the upper left on the first page of the app template gallery:

You can preview any publicly shared map in the template, or download the template source if you’d like to modify it and publish it from your own server.

Below we’ve opened the USA Active Floods map from the ArcGIS.com gallery and opened the Twitter widget to enter the keyword “flood:”

And here’s our map of tweets that match; click on any tweet to view it:

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New Zealand Earthquake Social Media Map

Esri New Zealand recently lifted an ArcGIS Online-powered social media map that keeps you informed of what’s happening near the disaster via various media feeds. The map shows geo-located Ushahidi posts, YouTube videos (filtered on “Christchurch Earthquake”), tweets (filters on the #eqnz hash tag), Flickr photos (uses #eqnz), and other public content.

The earthquake media viewer is based on a VGI template application that you can obtain from ArcGIS Online.

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ArcGIS Online, Social Media, and the Egyptian Unrest Map

Not long ago, on January 25th, anti-government protests started across Egypt in an unusual outcry. Today an Egyptian Unrest Map was added to Esri’s home page that enables users to follow the social conversation via videos, tweets, and more.

The app uses ArcGIS Online basemaps and the ArcGIS Online-hosted JavaScript API to provide the foundation, and leverages ArcGIS Server and custom hooks into YouTube, Twitter, and Flickr to pull in additional public content. Everything is hosted in Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

You can hover over the Social Media in the map contents and enter your own search keywords and hashtags.

The About this application page tells you more.


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A brief look at Web GIS, Twitter and Authenticating with OAuth

Every week we are hearing about more GIS developers integrating data and capabilities from social media API’s such as Twitter. Most of the apps integrate basic web requests for things such as using the Twitter Search API to retrieve tweets or retrieving trending topics, and use a straightforward RESTful request/response development pattern that’s common across many web applications.

However, if you want your users to be able to do things such as post a Twitter status update, or retrieve recent mentions, to complete these types of requests you have to use OAuth authentication. If you don’t have to authenticate any of your requests then there’s no need for you to read any further. If you aren’t sure, in the Twitter API docs check the “Requires Authentication” field for a “True” value, for example: http://dev.twitter.com/doc/get/statuses/mentions.

No More Basic Authentication. I’m writing this blog post because up until August 2010 we could get away with using basic authentication, which required just a few lines of code. Twitter put an end to this easy but highly insecure practice. Now we all have to abide by the new rules which means authenticating with OAuth.

The OAuth 1.0 Protocol abstract explains it best by stating that “OAuth provides a method for clients to access server resources on behalf of a resource owner (such as a different client or an end- user). It also provides a process for end-users to authorize third- party access to their server resources without sharing their credentials (typically, a username and password pair), using user- agent redirections”;

The Challenge of OAuth. OAuth entails potentially hundreds of lines of code and understanding a multi-step process between a client, Twitter and your server. The good news is there are open-source libraries out there that can significantly reduce your coding time and provide insight into how to sign OAuth requests. It’s well worth checking them out rather than rushing off and building something from scratch. Twitter has even conveniently provided a list of some of these libraries on their developer site: http://dev.twitter.com/pages/oauth_libraries. My only caveat is it’s still up to you, the developer, to examine the library and determine how updated, or secure each library is.

Twitter also now has some very helpful documentation on their OAuth process: http://dev.twitter.com/pages/auth. The insights they provide are extremely useful to read when troubleshooting OAuth implementations. 

Sample App. To top things off I’ve created a sample that demonstrates the basic OAuth concepts: http://edn1.esri.com/demos/oauth2/TwitterOauth2.html (updated 11/24/10). And, you can download the source code (Flex/PHP) here.

-Andy (@agup)

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GeoWeb 2010: Visualizing Real Time Twitter Data with ArcGIS

This year the focus of the GeoWeb conference was on “Going Real Time”. 

In our presentation, we discussed how to build client and server GIS applications that consume real time Twitter data.  We covered a number of real world scenarios that this could be applied to such as disaster management, emergency scenarios and so on.  We also covered some of the challenges we face when building systems like this.

GeoWeb 2010 Real-time ArcGIS Twitter Map 

In the spirit of supporting the “real time” theme of the conference, we also demonstrated how to use the ArcGIS platform to build a real time mapping system to track conversations on Twitter.  The system (code named “TweetBase”) had the capabilities of capturing all of the ”GeoWeb” conversations that took place during the conference, geolocate them, and publish them on a web map on ArcGIS.com. 

Here is an example of the map in a browser and mobile client.




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Twitter at the DevSummit

2009 was the first DevSummit where people really used Twitter
to talk about the event. I followed the tweets from here in New York and it gave me enough insight into the event to whet my
appetite to attend this year.

With the incredible growth of Twitter since then, we all
stepped it up a notch for the 2010 DevSummit. The official @ESRIDevSummit
account kept people up-to-date on announcements while a number of us, ESRI
and the developer community alike, broadcast their thoughts and photos of
the proceedings.

The inevitable backchannel
All this tweeting provided real value to those of us who
couldn’t make it in person, and many people thanked us for providing so many
updates. I felt the tweets communicated not only the content of the DevSummit,
but also that it was fun, that people were busy and enjoying themselves.

With thousands of tweets
in total the sheer size of the backchannel was fantastic (there was even a day-by-day favourite tweets series). In fact, some people were able to write summaries of
the plenary and other sessions based off it. I checked out some of those posts
as they were published and they were pretty spot on.

To Tweet or not to Tweet?
Many people still question me on the value of Twitter
(because I’m a geek and have a twitter account, not because I claim to have an
opinion), and I don’t blame them. It’s not right for everything. But the DevSummit is a great example of just how Twitter can work really
well: People were tweeting announcements, commentary, opinion, conversation,
troubleshooting, and behind-the-scenes, all of which made for great reading. But twitter also often provided practical benefit. A big part of the DevSummit is about being in the same room as ESRI staff – the whole “grab a red badge” thing. With twitter, people were able to do that without getting out of their seats: we got projectors corrected, firewalls adjusted (or else we explained why they couldn’t be), features confirmed, and so forth.

It was a tremendous event, and even with the videos being made
available online and the informative backchannel over Twitter, I wouldn’t miss it. Getting together with your colleagues and our teams in a dedicated environment where
everyone’s mind is on software is such a rich experience. Nothing gets close to replacing that, but Twitter makes up for some of not being able to make it.

Thank you
The DevSummit organisers and the EDN team in particular would like to thank all the geo-tweeters for doing such a great job. It was a pleasure meeting some of you in person at last. And here are some tweets of gratitude from people who couldn’t make it:

  • @ikendoh: Thanks to all at #devsummit for interesting tweets. Couldn’t make it there myself but still learning from you all.
  • @amandahstaub: Huge thank you 4 their coverage of #devsummit: @sathyaprasad @geeknixta @Taliesn @JimBarry @Kirrilian @davescheirer @dbouwman @cageyjames
  • @storm72: Thanks to all who tweeted #devsummit. It’s very much appreciated out here in the #geohinterlands.
  • @mattpriour: Just closed the #devsummit pane in Seesmic. Sad not be there so thankful for all the tweets. Excited about ArcGIS X !

With that, I give you a top-20ish list of DevSummit

- Nick


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