My Twitter followers map generated a huge buzz last year, despite its shortcomings, so I resolved to improve upon it. I’m quite pleased with the results considering it’s all done with Yahoo Pipes so I hardly had to write any code.
The map shows all of the people you follow on Twitter and so it doesn’t need your Twitter password. Many people were rightly wary about handing over their twitter password to plot their followers and nobody would put the map on their blog because it needed the password to be stored in plain text. When Twitter finalises its OAuth support, I’ll release a version that uses it and shows your followers.
There are a number of other improvements too!
- It now uses Google Maps
- More than 100 people can be shown - anyone you follow with a location in the Twitter profile will show up on the map
- It can understand iPhone locations, like iPhone:-74.356,35.641
- Click on a marker to see the person’s Twitter bio, last tweet and a link to their Twitter page
- Your location is shown with a distinctive red marker
- Generate code to embed your map on your blog or website
The map pushes Yahoo Pipes pretty hard and sometimes there can be timeouts or over-capacity errors. The only answer to these is just to bear with it, once your list of friends has been calculated it should be cached and everything should be fine.
Similarly, if you follow thousands of people your map is going to get really clogged up with markers and slow the web browser - so careful Stephen Fry!
Try It Out
The map has its own special landing page now, so head on over to try it out and let me know what you think in the comments.
Funky Twitter icon by PhireDesign (CC licensed).