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Thinking out loud about data use


ousefulSometimes it can be enough simply voicing your ideas and someone will take a stab at it, simply because they can. The challenge is to think about how data works, and what is possible.

Tony Hirst know A LOT about data use, and is kind enough to share most of it with the world. In a recent post he talks about an idea he got about some of the data that Twitter makes available.

The idea is based around trending topics in a hyper-local area. He suggests a service that allows you to filter trending topics within a certain region.

“does anyone know of a twitter trends service that identifies trending topics within a particular region or locale?. […] it strikes me that this could be a really useful hyper-local news service?”

This sounds like a great idea. Now, Tony is the kind of guy that would normally sit down and figure out how to do this, then share it with his readers. But because he’s build a readership of like-minded people, some of them might take this idea an run with it, simply because they can.

It shall be interesting to see if someone takes this on-board, or indeed if it already exists (which would save someone the work).

3 Responses to “Thinking out loud about data use”

  1. It does already exist, although it’s not perfect, here’s an example for Brum:


    It’s cool and interesting, but, for a start, areas have to be explicitly added, you can’t search for a place, it’s either in the list or it’s not.

    Secondly, there’s no API, there’s potentially a lot of cool stuff that could be done with this data, but it’s all locked up in their database. Personally I think anything that uses Twitter’s API should be forced to release an open API too.

    I’m looking into ways of doing something similar with these improvements, but it may take some time!

  2. Nick Booth says:

    Thanks for the comment Stuart. We also should also mention Jon Bounds is Birmingham happy emotional data scraper:


  3. Yeah, I like Jon’s work with that, I’m following the Twitter account and it’s always interesting to see how Brum’s feeling!

    I cross-posted my original comment over on oUseful and it seems that happn.in does have an API here – http://api.happn.in/, which I’m looking forward to looking at in a bit more detail :)

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