Just by the by, I idly tweeted last week along the lines of “does anyone know of a twitter trends service that identifies trending topics within a particular region or locale?”.
I didn’t receive any links to such a service at the time (and didn’t build the service myself…) but it strikes me that this could be a really useful hyperlocal news service?
An alternative might be to find ‘trending locations’ or ‘trending places’ rather than trending hashtags or topics, so if there is a sudden flurry of tweets in a particular area, it could get flagged (does Twitter this anyway with its trending topics?).
The locus of the trending regions need not be limited to ‘a circle within fifty miles of a point’ either; they could (with lots of computing power;-) be points along a line, such as a road, for example.
As an asymmetric follower type (I have many more followers than people I follow on Twitter), it might also be handy to be able to see trending topics across the people who follow me, just in case the sampled population that I do follow aren’t a fair sample of the people who follow me…
Just a thought… now back to the jet lag :-(
UPDATE: with the release of a Twitter geo api, it didn’t take long: Trendsmap