Twitter Geolocation Randomly Moves Around

by Chris Silver Smith

I have been experimenting with the “Add your location” setting on Twitter, and it’s not making a good impression on me.

Twitter's Geo Location Service

First, it ought to allow one to set either an absolute location, or to request that it set location dynamically, based upon where your geolocation is. If you were a small business proprietor and desired to Tweet on your business account from home at night, you wouldn’t want your home address location to appear on your Tweets, nor would you want some location that’s different from your place of business.

Twitter does allow you to select alternate location on a menu from what they’ve automagically selected for you. So, in the Carrollton, Texas area (a suburb of Dallas), I’m allowed to change it to “Dallas, TX”, “Irving, TX”, “Lewisville, TX” or plot to eight or so businesses/organizations/schools near where I am.

It will also allow you to “Search places…” if the location you want doesn’t appear on the list.

Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it?

However, once you’ve made a specific change, it will later revert back to where it’s automagically plotted your location to be.

Worse, it randomly plots me to different places when it does. My home office is possibly near the border of a few Dallas-Fort Worth suburb cities, and even though I’m not moving my PC around in my home office, Twitter is geolocating me to different cities every few hours.

So, what gives?!?

I ought to be able to specify the absolute location, and make it stick. And, if I opt for dynamic geolocation, it ought to be just a bit more accurate. Actually, it ought to be more STABLE — I’d settle for the dynamic geolocation ability to just be stable for a while.

It seems really odd to me that I’m getting plotted to seemingly random local cities. Perhaps my ISP’s dynamically-assigned IP address has something to do with this. Appears problematic, though, considering the impression it could make upon the non-technically-savvy Twitter users.


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2 Responses to “Twitter Geolocation Randomly Moves Around”

  1. Perry says:

    I had the same experience, but also noticed it only happened in Firefox (worked fine on Chrome). It may be a browser problem, not a Twitter problem.

  2. Silver says:

    I’ve had it do this in both Firefox and IE, but I’ll check it out in Chrome as well — I’d easily believe it could be due to the browser!