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Twitter's plans to let its users attach geographic coordinates to their messages have external developers very interested at the possibilities this new geolocation functionality will open up for their applications.

By the company's own admission, geotagging in the popular microblogging and social-networking service has been a rudimentary and inexact affair, dependent on a text field that users can leave blank or fill in with anything they like.

However, Twitter announced last week that it will soon let users stamp their postings with precise location data, and give external developers access to that data via a new geolocation API (application programming interface.)

The news has thrown many developers into an intense brainstorming mode, thinking up ways to enhance existing applications and build new ones that use this location data.

Michael O'Connor is extremely excited about the potential of the Twitter geolocation API to enhance his application Myallo HotList, which is awaiting approval for the iPhone application store.

Myallo HotList shows the locations of users' friends and favorite places on a radar-style map, whose blips change color -- from bright red to light blue, with shades of orange, yellow and gray in between -- to reflect their "hotness" depending on how close or far they are. The location data comes from the one stated on Twitter profiles.



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