Geolocation is often used to disclose the location of tweets, Facebook posts, and smartphone photos. Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman track down the GPS coordinates attached to tweets, and take photos of the area where the tweets were uploaded.
Jakob Schiller discusses their photography project in his Wired article “Photos of Tweet Locations Bring 140 Characters to Life“:
Although they agree on process, Larson and Shindelman say they often take a different magnifying glass to what they find. Shindelman, a lecturer in photography at the University of Georgia, for example, says she’s interested in the ways that Twitter and other social media have helped us become over-connected and lonelier at the same time – she’s drawn to the tweets where people are emoting.
Larson, a professor of photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art, has been fascinated with Twitter and security, in particular the way people reveal details about themselves and their location that otherwise would be private.
To some, Larson and Marni’s photography project might sound intrusive, or even creepy, and maybe it is, but there is something provocative about seeing these ephemeral tweets juxtaposed with their physical locations.