Geotagged tweeting of a royal wedding: Combining geotagging news story with social media

A reporter at the British newspaper, The Guardian, produced an interesting report on the royal wedding day. He tweeted and posted picture, video and audio as he met people along the way. His journey was mapped out as he went.

This is mobile news gathering using smartphone and social media. As the reporter took a picture and sent it out using the smartphone, the location of that picture was also recorded and plotted onto the map.

Geotagging news story has been part of online journalism practice for a few years. A Wiki article has some good discussions of the pros and cons of geotagging news story.

That said, combining geotagging with social media such as Twitter is a relatively new practice.

Chances are this royal wedding report was not done in real time – that is, it was edited and produced afterward. There are ways, free of charge, for innovative reporters and editors to do an interactive map with live, geotagged photos and video from the field.

One such post has a tutorial for “when reporters are in the field with their smartphones and they have a story to tell where both photo and location are vital, a stream of Flickr photos imported into a Google Map will do the trick.”

For example, if you have a reporter covering a huge parade, a bike tour, travelling along the coastline, taking a wine tour across the country, or you want to collect reader photos from a highway closure — really, the use cases are endless — an easy way to get interactive, live content from the field is through a Flickr map. And, you can accomplish it all from email, with no extra apps or training required.

What is Geotagging?

If this term sounds unfamiliar to you – it is marking a video, photo or other media with a location. This can not only help people find images and information based on a location, but it can also be used to create location-based news and media feeds by combining an application like Google Maps with geotagged blogs, news articles and Flickr photos.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (, a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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