The Twitter geocode search filter is an easy to use tool that finds tweets sent from within a specific distance of a defined location. A useful OSINT tool, this enables the user to see what people are tweeting about from within a mile of the office, their home, or future vacation spot.
A sample a use-case might be the following: you’re considering moving into a rental house in a new city after being offered a great job. You want to make sure the rental is quiet and safe, but you don’t know the area or the people. You’d use this Twitter search function to isolate tweets sent from near the rental to get a sense of the neighborhood.
Anything people are tweeting about — problems with the landlord, police presence, issues with municipal utilities, large events and loud parties, etc. — will be returned in your search.
Monitor your results for a week or two and get a sense of what’s going on in the neighborhood and what people are talking about, posting pictures of, involved with, etc.
You see a home for rent in Atlanta, GA. The address is something like 1294 N Ave Nw, Atlanta, GA 30318, and the rental listed on Zillow for $1299 a month. Seems nice, so let’s research this and see what’s going on around it.
- Convert the address to a latitude and longitude value using the Geocode Finder tool (here).
- We come up with Latitude: 33.7678316 and Longitude: -84.4301044
Once we have the latitude and longitude of this specific property, we need to search for it in Twitter and decide how wide our search radius is.
We head over to Twitter and find the search input. The Twitter geocode search filter relies on the following syntax: ‘Geocode:[Latitude],[Longitude],[Search Radius]‘.
In this example, we’ll type exactly “Geocode:33.7678316,-84.4301044,1mi” and see what we get.
Click here to see the results.
Scope of Search
The “1mi” at the end of the search will limit results to tweets sent from within 1 mile of the Lat/Long coordinates. Adjust this value (ex: 2mi, 15mi, 20km, etc.) to make the search as broad or as narrow in scope as you’d like.
The possibilities are extensive using the Twitter geocode search filter. It’s a good tool for gathering open-source intelligence (OSINT). Good information fosters effective decision making and increases general situational awareness. Be smart.