Update: a basic twitter geocode search how-to

I just re-wrote and simplified my instructions for creating a fast, simple twitter geocode search, as my previous blog post has links in the instructions that don’t work anymore.

1-  Go to a latitude/longitude finder such as https://itouchmap.com/latlong.html and enter the place or address that you need a lat/long for in the search bar. If you have an address, include it, but you can also use a town name and state, or a town name and country. (NOTE: It is sometimes worth verifying a lat/long search result. For instance, you might want to try running the same search in google maps and compare lat/long results.)

An alternative way to obtain the latitude longitude is to do a google search, then copy the lat/long straight out of the web address. Here’s an example:


Notice that in the above web address, the lat/long is already formatted and ready to copy out. Below, I’ve emphasized the lat/long that you need to copy out in red:



2- Here is the format that you need the lat/long to be in (with no spaces) in order to insert it in to the geocode search:



3- Next, create your geosearch, with no spaces in the text:


The above search is set for 10 Kilometers – you can make the search as small as .01km or as large as 2500km

NOTE: Save this search in a notes document or somewhere so that you can work on it outside of the twitter search box.


4– Now copy and paste the entire geosearch over to the twitter search window and run the search. Don’t forget that the first results listed will be “Top Results” – click “Latest” to see the most recent results.


5- I tend to start with a moderate size search, depending on the estimated population density. Run some test searches to see what kind of results you get, then change the search radius, making it larger and smaller to see the effect on your search.


6– If you are seeing too many irrelevant search results, it’s time to add some additional search terms to your geocode search.

Try adding words that are common to the type of incident that you are searching.

For instance, if there is a severe windstorm or hurricane, first you would try searches using words like “storm”, “trapped”, “damage”, “power out”, then later in the disaster you’d be running searches such as “shelter” “closed” “open”, “missing” “lost”.

Such a search would look like this:

geocode:34.2920145,-83.8976776,10km AND storm OR trapped OR damage

Also remember to occasionally run question mark searches, like this:

geocode:34.2920145,-83.8976776,10km AND ?

Question mark searches will often help you to spot needs and trends. More on question mark searches here.


NOTE: I originally posted a more complicated process, which came from my workflow at the time, describing how I set up my notes and then create edit and save my geosearches all in one note. I still do it this way before sharing or moving my best searches in to a VOST workbook, but the instructions were pretty outdated, and I thought that having a more simple description would be helpful.


NOTE 2: While it is certainly possible to run some location searches via twitter advanced search, I find that the above geocode search method with the lat/long usually brings better results. try both methods and see how it works for you.


NOTE 3: For more on twitter advanced searches, check out this previous blog post.

You may also want to check out twitter on using advanced searches


NOTE 4: twitter has (frustratingly so) made it difficult to share a link directly to the search operators, which can be found on the search page here, but I’m posting a picture of them here for easy access.


    • PIO_Joe
    • April 28th, 2017

    Reblogged this on ART of PIO.

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