Geocoding Jobs and Twitter Automation (For Free)

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Jul 9, 2013

Everyone has heard the time honored phrase “location, location, location.” In the world of recruiting, we have all felt the pain that makes you wish transporter technology from movies existed today. The ideal person always seems to live in Bermuda. Part of that eqaution is the lack of geographic filters on the internet. We search for pizza and find coupons, when all we want to do is order a pizza.

Emerging search technology for mobile and browsers attempts to fill this gap whenever possible. They ask for your permission to access your location. Given your location, search engines will deliver the names and phone numbers of local pizzarias. Jobs are not pizzas, but geography is a known variable that can improve search results for job seekers.

That is my long intro to explain why I am going to show you how to code jobs with geodata. GeoNames is a free service that is will read plain text, looking for city, state, country references. Using their free API, they will enhance your RSS feed with geo RSS standards that can be deviler and recognized by services including Twitter.


Here is an example post to twitter showing the output

I’m not the first person to solve this problem, one can pay thousands of dollars to perform a similar service. However, people technical enough to write Boolean strings can do this for the price of a fast food value meal  instead of paying a service provider to do it.

Think Big! Longitude and Latitude are global and this GEO Names service works in 40+ countries.


Here is my step-by-step process:

Step One: Yahoo! Pipes is a relic from 2007 that should be familiar to website owners, and social media gurus. This service has lost some of its luster, but is still 100% functional and popular for its simplicity and zero $ price tag. Pipes lets you create mash-ups using RSS Feeds, API calls, and operator / string logic that is familiar to Boolean folks. Using your yahoo email address (I keep an old one alive just for fantasy football), you can browse shared formulas already created, and clone them for your own use.

For this project I am using this one:

Log-in, test the formula using any RSS feed that contains city, state, or country text. You can toggle from List or Map views.  

Once you have cloned and customized your feed, click the “Get as RSS” button to get your new RSS feed with the additional code combined with your original feed. Bookmark this url.

For the coders among us, you may find that they JSON or KML output options will provide more options including recreating the embedded map example below.

Step Two:

This step requires a monthly budget of $10 (Insert sofa cushion joke here). This Pro plan gives you the ability to connect 15 social networks, 50 RSS feeds, and more features than most people will ever need. Here I have connected the Yahoo! Pipes RSS output to my twitter feed.

Once connected, you can edit the RSS feed settings by hovering over the source and clicking the pencil icon. Under the location tab check the “use location” box. Optionally, you can set a default location (shown on map).

Step Three: Twitter

On Twitter you will need to go into settings to activate location sharing.

After you have confirmed this workflow is working 100%, spend some quality time reviewing other setting options especially for destination and the route. Filters, scheduling windows, find/replace, and auto hashtag options are unique to this service and are very powerful when used properly. Official API Integrations with and will give you some link tracking analytics. The same should be said for Yahoo! Pipes. I use a few other formulas daily that can’t be easily replaced without hosting your own server and complex scripting knowledge. Other pipes have not been updated and no longer work as companies like twitter upgrade their terms and APIs.

The end result of this project is a “Set and forget” tool to help you reach the right people with the right message. Blend your feeds with a human touch and people may even follow you!

If you don’t believe geo data is the new strategic sourcing playground; ask your browser and smartphone.


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