TweetDeck Chooses Yahoo Maps To Show Geo Tweets

Adam DuVander
Jan. 15 2010, 03:14AM EST

The latest release of desktop Twitter app TweetDeck launched with a ton of new features, which includes showing geolocated tweets. If a tweet includes the location meta-data, TweetDeck shows a tiny marker icon. Click the icon and you get a map of the location.

Geo-coded tweet

TweetDeck uses Yahoo's static maps, which displays a graphic, non-interactive version of the location. Static versions have come into favor recently, because there is only a single file to deliver, providing a faster experience for the user and decreasing the requirements of the provider. Static map APIs are also available from Google, MapQuest and OpenStreetMap.

TweetDeck/Yahoo tweets

Many TweetDeck users expressed displeasure with TweetDeck's choice of Yahoo as the provider, many suggesting Google be used instead. It's unclear why Google is preferred. It could be simply familiarity, or a perception of Google's map technology as superior. TweetDeck competitor Seesmic uses an interactive version of Google Maps in its web-based product.

However, the reason TweetDeck chose Yahoo is probably related to terms of service. Google expressly forbids using static maps in non-web interfaces. Unlike Seesmic Web, TweetDeck is installed on a user's computer using Adobe Air. Yahoo's terms do not appear to have the same prohibition.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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I think the displeasure over the use of Yahoo Maps has almost everything to do with familiarity and that many people are simply conditioned to think that Google Maps is automatically the best solution for any situation.

Yahoo Maps lags its competitors in many areas, but the quality and accuracy of its data is head and shoulders above Google Maps in the wake of Google's switch from TeleAtlas to it own data. For a static map application, Google Maps API restrictions aside, Yahoo Maps probably fits the bill as well as anyone right now.