Washington: The Tweetographer, a web-based application, clues in users on what`s hot and happening in their cities or neighbourhoods.
The application works by collecting in real time tweets sent by large numbers of people and extracting information about events -- parties, concerts, games and the like -- happening nearby.
The Tweetographer is the brainchild of William Clifton and Alex Padgett, computer science undergraduates at the University of Cincinnati.
"We wanted to explore data mining, which is an important area of research in computer science, in the context of social media," Padgett said, according to a university statement.
"Everything is out there in public domain, a giant pool of untapped data, tagged with latitude and longitude. It`s very precise and lends itself to so many uses,"
Clifton said: "We realised we could do all sorts of things with this data. We could add all sorts of functions but we worked really hard to avoid `feature creep` and decided to focus on events."
Another obstacle was making sense of all the available data. Although Twitter offers upwards of 140 million tweets a day, they are not posted in a uniform format. "So many people type in their own shorthand," Padgett said.
The solution, according to Clifton, was to create a "thesaurus" of multiple Twitter synonyms.