Instructions on how to use was developed by us to enable tracking of the teams for Oxfam Trailwalker NZ 2010 using Twitter.

By having the teams include the distance they have travelled in their tweets, they are automatically placed on a map of the course in the correct location. This map is embedded on the teams Trailwalker page, such as in Happy Feet's page. The map also shows the last checkpoint that they passed through using the timing system that we also developed.

The map of the tweets can also be a stand alone page or embedded in any other page using the link This link is just[your twitter name] and can be used by anyone without any registration.

When the page is loaded the server extracts the twitter account name from the url and queries for the last 100 tweets from that account. It then plots them on a map, either by using geolocation information in the tweet, if available, or by trying to figure out how far along a course the tweet is by looking of information in the tweet such as "10km".


The default map that is displayed when using[twitter name] is the 2010 Oxfam NZ Trailwalker course. Other maps currently available are: - Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2010 course. See - Oxfam Trailwalker New Zealand 2011 course. See - No course displayed, used for geocoded tweets (see below). See and for examples.

Locations of tweets

If the twitter account is using a Twitter client that can geocode tweets with accurate latitude and longitude then these coordinates are used to place the marker on the map. The GeoNet twitter feed of earthquake locations,, is an example of this.

If GPS coordinates aren't available in the tweet (you need to enable sharing of location in your twitter profile as well as having a gps enabled twitter client) then the server will try and figure out how far along a course you are by looking at the contents of the tweet. The distance can be specified in several ways:

63km (number followed by "km")
63 km (number then space then "km")
#63 (has followed by number)

For example "63km done, really starting to hurt #otwnz".


If the tweet includes a link to an uploaded image then a thumbnail of the image is displayed on the popup. A good example of this is Team Happy Feet's map.

Supported image upload services are:

Just a map can also be used just to plot a single point on the map, such as:

The format for this is:[latitude]/[longitude]/[scale]

Latest News

October 2015
I've started making some of my FME workspaces available. The first shows how to automatically remove unused columns from a geodatabase.