Crowdsourced snow reports on Twitter

February 1, 2009 at 5:32 pm 3 comments

Twitter is proving fascinating for yet another unexpected application this evening. Along with many other people, I’m sat glued to the snow reports coming in from around the country, using the hashtag #uksnow. The topic is vying for top slot on the ‘trending topics’ list with the Superbowl – quite some achievement!

Many contributors are using a standard format, which should, if anyone’s so inclined, make it dead easy to extract the feed and drive a map mashup. Realtime weather status via Twitter – brilliant.

Why not join in? to follow the #uksnow tweets on Twitterfall.

Update: The map mashup has materialised here. Huge props to @benmarsh.


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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. paulclarke  |  February 1, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    The next question that emerges is: who wanted the mash-up anyway? Didn’t people just want to do the Brit thing and tell weather stories, in nice unstructured ways. Without being reminded every few minutes by some officious voice saying: “Structure that tweet – where’s your postcode?”.

    Fascinating – as always, in the simplest public information issues, much richness of agenda and purpose lies. My view of it all is at

    • 2. peeebeee  |  February 1, 2009 at 6:51 pm

      It just took someone to suggest a more structured mechanism and the crowd joined in. Even if nobody does create the mashup, we now have a pattern for snow reporting on Twitter – which can of course so easily be applied to other topics. The data will stick around – especially if someone does a trawl in a few days and squirrels it away for posterity.

      This neatly overlaps with the topic of another post I referred to earlier on Twitter – which I still havent written!

  • 3. paulclarke  |  February 1, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I fished around with #datatagging and didn’t find anything. Worth us trying a little harder to find ways in which simple structuring tags can be propagated? Takes up yet more of the 140 chars, but look what the 9 chars or so (could be reduced) with #uksnow could unlock?


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