Using Feedwax: Geo-tag your content

Using Feedwax: Geo-tag your content

Using Feedwax: Geo-tag your content


Geo-tagging your content i.e. adding location information into the meta data opens up a whole variety of opportunities for the journalist or blogger in delivering it to new platforms, services, tools or environments such as Augmented Reality, mapping, apps etc. can help with this.

Here’s a couple of scenarios which illustrate ways to use it but they are certainly not the only uses – just about anything out there on the web can be tracked and mapped:

1. Monitoring or tracking a feed of information

This could be for your own benefit as someone interested in a particular dataset or for live publication. For example, maybe you’d like to track one of the RSS feeds produced by one of he open democracy sites such as to see what an MP says every time they speak in the House of Commons or simply see what your local council is processing.

All you need is an RSS feed and then you can set up an automatic tracker – sometimes called ‘bots’.

Two such accounts to illustrate this use are (PlanBot) which automatically publishes the planning applications from a district council and other one (HagueBot) which tracks William Hague MP’s constituency activity.

The PlanBot provides an alternative to the local reporter’s unenviable task of wading through printed council papers and has the advantage of running in real-time rather than waiting for the local town hall to compile and distribute the details. Because the area being covered is geographically small, I felt there was a benefit in letting all applications through but it is possible to add a staging-post and simply select those likely to be of most interest for your readers for publication in larger districts or if you want more selection control for editorial reasons.

The datasets to produce this feed can be found thanks to the hard work of here:

The second case (HagueBot) takes one feed (the RSS automatically created on the site) but blends this with a feed also created via which searches twitter for the MP. Any combination of feed or search can be used across all the major social media platforms and again, it can be published direct or to an internally controlled list.

2. Creating a story map from activity on the internet

Because every piece of content is geo-tagged, the content being produced on can be easily mapped (lots of examples, and instruction on how to do that at and now the feed curator gives anyone covering any topic another tool to gather the required data from activity that’s already out there on the web and get it ready to map.

To do this means setting up a noticeboard specifically for the story – it’s a process that takes about 1min – think of the noticeboard as your project space for the story. Then select the searches you’d like to build feeds for eg. a specific hashtag on twitter and feed it into your noticeboard.

In doing this, you should take into account that you are curating from the open web so the tweets pulled into the map could be published in your new context without the knowledge of the person tweeting. If you are producing the map for a news organisation or similar you might want to consider setting up a specific hashtag to capture for the project and creating a ‘call out‘ for participation from users.

There’s more on that here.

This noticeboard created by The Guardian shows this twitter feed use of in action.

The Guardian s local shopping map  add your photos and Twitter reviews   Life and style hashtag #localshopping was created and promoted by the newspaper which asked people to tweet recommendations from local shops. The ‘bot’ ( took the feed from twitter and automatically published any tweets which included a location to the noticeboard. In this particular case, the final publication on the newspaper website had a further level of moderation so that editorial control was retained to prevent spamming.

There’s more about how to set that up here.

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