Geocoordinates: A Common Thread for Just About Anything
Omitting a discussion of microformats like geo and hRecipe as not being particularly useful for mining the social web would be a big mistake. Although it’s certainly true that standalone geo data in no particular context isn’t necessarily social, important but much less than obvious relationships often emerge from disparate data sets that are tied together with a common geographic context. Geo data is ubiquitous and plays a powerful part in too many social mashups to even name, because a particular point in space can be used as the glue to cluster people together. The divide between “real life” and life on the Web continues to close, and just about any kind of data becomes social the moment that it is tied to a particular individual in the real world. For example, there’s an awful lot that you might be able to tell about a person based on where she lives, what kinds of food she prefers to cook at home, and even the specifics about ingredients in those recipes. This section works through some examples of finding, parsing, and visualizing geo and hRecipe data, since it’ll likely be sooner rather than later that you’ll think of something useful to do with it.