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Summize Gains “Local” Twitter Search Option
Summize has already turned into my
preferred tool to search for what people are saying on Twitter. Now it’s gained
a way to see what people are twittering about near a local area.
Say I want to see what’s been happening in Newport Beach, California, in
terms of Twitter activity. To do a local search, I hit the advanced search
page, put [newport beach] into the
Places box, and got back what people in the area
OK, there were a few false matches. This
person is listed as being in the "deep
sea" but shows up for that Newport search. But most of the people seemed to be
in the area, with where they are twittering from being drawn off the location
they list in their Twitter profile.
That brings up another issue. Many people Twitter when traveling. So relying
on the profile location doesn’t necessarily means you’re getting twitters from a
particular place, but rather twitters from twitters who are associated with that
If you’re not using the advanced search page, you can also get Summize to
give you location results by using the near command. It’s like this:
So if you wanted to see what people were twittering from the area where the
Chinese earthquake hit, you could do this:
The only problem is that Summize tries to guess at the location and how far
"out" from it to look to find relevant twitters. With a Newport Beach search, it
guesses 25 kilometers around that area. In the search above, it guesses 2500
This is easy to fix. For each local search you do, you’re shown a map of the
area on the right hand side of the page, very handy to confirm that the place
name is guessed correctly. You can then use a drop down box under the map to
narrow the range. Oddly, though, I
had to go out 1,000 kilometers before getting any results to match, even
though some people did have their locations as specifically Chengdu.
For more about some of Summize’s other advanced search tools, Mashable
had a nice
summary last month.