structured data

British snow mapped on Twitter

British snowfall mapped via TwitterThe south of Britain has today seen its first proper snow fall in quite some time.

While London is experiencing its fair share of it, we - along with the rest of the UK - are having the snowfall mapped out courtesy of Twitter users and the short weather reports they are tweeting.

This is a good example of Twitter being used in situations where an idea has grown organically into a way of collecting structured data from the masses, and where someone has taken the idea and run with it to map the data out. It's the kind of thing that I think would really help in disaster relief situations, if enough people had access to Twitter still, and in fact the attacks on Mumbai showed that Twitter was used widely to spread eyewitness news of what was happening.

Check out Paul Clarke's writeup for a great rundown on how all this progressed (more than the passing comment this post gives). Great to see there are smart people at the heart of the UK government's web strategy - Paul is working on making Directgov a better place.

(map courtesy of Google Maps and the #uksnow mashup)

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