Pretty straightforward question here.

At an increasing rate I see crowd sourcing data being mapped to great effect. Where are the raw data sources for all these maps? I know they vary but I don't think I have even found a single source.

For instance, twitter maps, where is the data?


Some places like Twitter connect geographical data with the content ("tweets" in this case). If you use the API to request a list of recent tweets, it will give you geographical data along with it ("coordinates", "geo" in the JSON response):

Twitter API Example

I suspect most of the data you're referring to is collected similarly. Basically,

  1. find a potential source of data with geographic information attached to it,
  2. find out how to query their API, and
  3. compile the data into a format your GIS tools can understand.

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