This page is part of the Twitter location search resource on Thoughtfaucet which contains tutorials for Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, examples, caveats and how to find latitude and longitude in order to make a geocode.
Twitter is great for communicating with people all around the world. Except when it isn’t.
Sometimes you really want to stay focused on a specific location. Maybe you’re a local real estate professional or politician or diner or social media guru. Or maybe you’re just a good digital citizen and want to stay in touch with your local community via Twitter.
Use Twitter as your own open city-wide chat channel on Tweetdeck by following these very simple steps.
- Figure out what the geocode for your area is.
- Add a new column for your geocoded Twitter search
- Make sure you’re using your Twitter account for your new Tweetdeck column.
- Enter a geocode query into the search field of the Tweetdeck column preference pane.
- Hit the “search” button in the Tweetdeck preference pane and you’re done,
Step 1: Find the geocode for your location-based Twitter search.
This tutorial will use Burlington, VT as an example location. If you want to set the location of your Twitter search somewhere else, See this short tutorial on figuring out what your geocode is.
Step 2: Add a new column for your location search on Twitter.
In the upper left of the Tweetdeck interface, just above where you enter a tweet, there’s a circle with a plus sign. Click that button to add a new column for your geocoded Twitter search.
Step 3: Use your Twitter account for your new Tweetdeck search column.
A preference pane for your new column will appear after you’ve completed the previous step. Tweetdeck will default to setting up your column using Twitter, but just in case, make sure the little “t” is selected.
Step 4: Enter a geocode query into the search field of your location search column preference pane on Tweetdeck.
This is where the magic happens. Here is an example of a geocoded search query looks like:
Copy and paste that little bit of codely goodness into that Tweetdeck search bar and you can quit the rest of this tutorial–from here on out it’s just for nerds and locative media geeks.
The first part of this string, #btv, is any text you want to use in your search. In this example, I’ve used the hashtag for Burlington, VT, which is named for our airport code. If you don’t care if any particular words are in your location-based twitter search Tweetdeck column (say that five times fast) then you can just start with the next part.
The magic words which allow you to search near a location are next:
The first word, geocode:, tells Twitter that we’re going to be sending it some map co-ordinates. The first number is the latitude of your location, which you should have retrieved back in the first step of this tutorial. Then a comma. Then the longitude, which you also should have retrieved at the start of this tutorial. Then another comma and then the radius.
The largest radius Twitter will accept is 2500km. Sadly, this isn’t large enough to cover all of the US without moving the center of the geocode. Don’t worry though, there’s a link at the end of this article that has the mother lode of location-based Twitter search strings that work in Twitter clients like Tweetdeck.
Step 5: Hit the “search” button in the Tweetdeck preference pane and you’ll see tweets in a specific location.
Tweetdeck will now create your column, based on the keyword search you entered (if any) and the geocode data you entered. Instant localized Twitter search. Awesome!