I’m not a huge Twitter user, but I do enjoy the short form broadcasts as a means to track the movements of the list of personalities, organisations or publications you find interesting.
This is why I’ve recently become quite taken by an (apparently new?) web app called paper.li. In short,paper.li scans the twitter feed for a given @user or #tag, cultivates the posts, links, pictures and other media posted by the user and those followed by him/her and publishes a select set of them in the format of a daily newspaper.
It’s attractive and tunes out some of the noise that your twitter feed has. Sure you might miss a few posts here and there, especially those that do not contain links it would seem but the daily pages are still pretty nice way to get an overview of the days posts without going through the whole feed yourself.
I guess the main flaws of this idea are that;
But I still like it.
This picture shows the trails of 380 of London’s iconic taxis at a given moment during the rush hour of a typical day. It was produced by tracking the GPS coordinates of each taxi throughout a 24 hour period and then superimposed onto what is either a satellite image or photograph from a high altitude aircraft.
The result gave an interesting representation of how the overall traffic flows from the outer suburban areas into the centre and the way that it spills over into the side streets when the main thoroughfares become clogged.
This, and a series of similar montages were used in the BBC documentary “Britain from The Air”, and you can view some of the short (2-3 minutes) clips on the BBC website. [Taxi’s rush hour]
As an example, consider Albert Szent-Györgyi, a WWI field medic who lived to tell the story of a unit of Hungarian soldiers lost in a blizzard in the Swiss Alps. Their Commander feared the worst, but on the third day, the unit made it back to camp on their own. The soldiers told how they had given up and accepted their fate, but then one of them found a map and was able to lead everyone safely out of the mountains. The Commander was amazed and asked to see the soldier. He was even more amazed when he looked at the map because it was a map of the French Pyrenees, not the Swiss Alps.