Twitter REST API with geocode lookup

Recently I was given the task of building a search feature that will find all geolocations of Tweets with a keyword and/or hashtag.

The Twitter REST API has the following limitations:

  • User must enable Location for their Tweet — This removes a lot of the sample size
  • A Tweet REST API query can only target specific geo coordinates, along with a radius
  • The Search API’s recent index only spans for the last 6-9 days

Using my Drupal 8 Twitter module as a template, I was easily able to make this work for finding locations within the intercontinental United States.

$params = array(
     "q" => $this->keyword,
     "count" => $this->num_results,
     "result_type" => "mixed",
     "lang" => "en",
     "geocode" => "39.8,-95.583068847656,2500km",
 $tweets = $twitter->get("search/tweets", $params);

Basically, I’m polling for all tweets with a radius of our country starting in roughly the middle. Thanks to ThoughtFacet for the tip.

So this is a nice workaround if you are looking for Tweets that have geolocations.