Twitter Adding Place Names to Geotagging Data

Twitter may be trying to carve its own niche in the location-based-services sector, alongside foursquare and Gowalla, by adding details on actual places to its geolocation data, Mashable reports.

Raffi Krikorian
of the microblogging service’s platform team posted on the Twitter API Announcements Google Group:

I wanted to give you all a heads-up on some big changes we’re making to our geotagging API. Right now, you can post a status update along with a latitude and longitude pair — what we’ve jokingly referred to as “geo-tweeting” is actually just a status update with a “where” in the form of a coordinate attached to it. We’re about to add a whole new layer of context to that status update.

Our goal is to provide a few more options to API developers (and the users they are servicing) through this contextual information. People, we find, 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. (37.78215, -122.40060), for example, doesn’t mean a lot to a lot of people, but “San Francisco, CA, USA” does. We’re also trying to help users who aren’t comfortable annotating their tweets with their exact coordinate, but, instead, are really happy to say what city, or even neighborhood, they are in. Annotating your place with a name does that, too.