On Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 9:22 AM, Marcelo Jenisch <marc...@inmeta.com.br> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
>
> I need to display the location of someone's followers in a map, so he
> can see the distribution by country of his followers.
>
> I couldn't use the location, since it is just a text box where the
> user can enter anything and it would be pretty complicated to
> interpret that without some level of error. So my second idea was to
> use the place info in the user's last tweet, but then I realized that
> most tweets don't attach such info.
>
> So now I'm at a loss. Do I invest time in interpreting the location
> field, or are there better (easier or more accurate) ways to get such
> info? It doesn't even need to be down to the city level, as long as I
> can get a country, it's fine.

There are ways you can "infer" someone's location, but you run the
risk of running afoul of privacy laws and terms of service violations
for the services you access via APIs or scraping. The correct way to
acquire someone's location at any granularity is to *explicitly* ask
them for it, *clearly* stating in plain language what they will
receive in return.

This is a very big deal - just look at all the brouhaha over the
iPhone location logging that erupted last week. There's no shortcuts /
tricks / games you can play here. You need lawyers and solid business
planning.

-- 
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"A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems." -- Paul Erdős

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