Following breaking news – iWitness shows tweets from specific time and geography

iWitness - Boston bombings tweets
iWitness – Boston bombings tweets

It’s always tough following breaking news as rumors start to fly. Yesterday in Boston was no exception. One particular tool jumped out at me as I was following the news: Adaptive Path’s iWitness twitter search. The service, which only works on webkit browsers such as Chrome or Safari, allows to view tweets from specific geography and time. To wit, here are all geo-tagged tweets from Boylston Street bombing locations sent between 2:45pm and 3:15pm. It’s a fascinating look at news unfolding in real time by the people who were there. (found via Metafilter)

A few more links on the subject of the bombings:

  • Reddit users have once again provided a comprehensive and continually updated feed of developments in the story, starting before major news outlets had published anything. Threads 1, 2, 3, 4. Boston.com also has a very good feed of news as it unfolds.
  • The Atlantic and Time Lightbox were quick to post images from the scene. Lightbox features an interview with Globe photographer John Tlumacki, whose images I believe will come to define the event. The Atlantic features a particularly gruesome image (#8, you’ve been warned), which when I first saw it was uncensored but not has blurred the face of the victim. That’s a very interesting move, and I think it dehumanizes the news. I am surprised that they blurred the face and hope that this is not a trend. The Boston Globe has a particularly moving front page image today, and I think the emotional impact rests partly on being able to see who was involved in this terrible tragedy.
  • In image #8 linked above, a man in a cowboy hat is holding the victim’s vein closed with his hand. He can be seen other news videos and photos rushing to help. His name is Carlos Arredondo, an immigrant from Costa Rica whose life had been upended after losing one son in Iraq. Mother Jones has some information about him, and here is a video of him, visibly shaking, describing the events soon after they happened.
  • The situation is still unfolding, and much of the area around Copley Square remains closed off to the public. Some young Boston journalists, connected to Tufts I believe, have created BostonSituation.org as a no-nonsense gathering of information for those affected. Built on Google Drive, it’s a brilliant way to use web tools to spread vital information when other methods of communication might be down.
  • The website is getting hammered, but if you can get through, BagNewsNotes has been looking at specific images from the coverage. On That Iconic Photo from the Boston Marathon Bombings and War and Terror: What Shocks Me Most About the Bloody Marathon Bombing Pictures (GRAPHIC)
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