Site Review: HyperCities Egypt

I’ve always really enjoyed the concept and execution of HyperCities Egypt, which connects the content of individual tweets to their specific location within a designated geo-spatial area. HyperCities Egypt allows for the real-time display of tweets, and also allows a user to review past tweets of a specific date in time.

By locating real-time tweets (and tweeters) within a geo-spatial construct, the map (Google Map API) acts as a multidimensional social news feed, connecting people and commentary with a particular location in a particular time. By allowing one to search through past tweets of a past date,  the site acts as a historical archive of social, born-digital commentary.

Not sure, but I think HyperCities Egypt was created to provide access to the tweets of those activists during the Tahrir Square protests; ostensibly, a real-time tweet-map could be quickly established for events/epochs of public uprising in any given city, providing the local community and global info industry with the means to gather nuanced details from people on the ground and in the action. In this model, news “trickles up” from citizen journalists, rather than trickling down from media punditry—a powerful reversal of the dominant news media paradigm.

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