Washington, DC Police Tweets
August 30, 2012 2:19 PM   Subscribe

Washington, DC Police Tweets
An open-ended research tool for everything that the DC Police Department writes on their twitter feed. The department made the controversial decision to encrypt all radio communications last year, with no allowance for journalists, and thus have devoted more time to twitter. The site allows you to view the last three thousand tweets and quickly analyze factors like age, city quadrant, gender, etc., though a clever regular-expression-based interface.
Role: programmer, designer, author
posted by tmcw (7 comments total)

Great interface.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 3:12 PM on August 30, 2012

I like the idea, but feel I am missing something. When I load the site in a laptop browser I do not see a search box and I do not see the tweets. I asked a friend in DC to check it out and he had the same results.

When I load the page in my phone I see the tweets (so small I can't read them and no wrap when I enlarge. I still don't see a search box as the text promises.
posted by terrapin at 5:02 AM on August 31, 2012

Ok, still wicked confusing, but figuring it out. On the laptop "click anywhere to start" does nothing.

On my iPhone "click anywhere to start" does clear the text to stop the weird overlapping and then the search box appears.

Still too small for me to read, and without wrapping a whole lot of scrolling.

I like the concept, but the interface is awkward and confusing. I will check back before advertising this to my DC friends. [I am a former, long-time DC resident]
posted by terrapin at 5:07 AM on August 31, 2012

Hey terrapin - I've made the about page closed by default.
Not seeing the search box - not sure why that'd happen - the site is tested in Chrome/Firefox/Safari, and semi-works in IE9. If you're using IE8 or IE7, that might be the issue.
As far as the iPhone interface, it's not a big focus; this concept does not map well to tiny screens.
I like the concept, but the interface is awkward and confusing.
Now that's a bit too broad to address :)
posted by tmcw at 6:06 AM on August 31, 2012

I viewed the site in Safari 6.0 and Firefox 14.1(?) on Mac OS 10.8. I didn't ask my DC-based friend what browser he was using, but neither of us are web n00bs and we both were quite confused about what we saw compared to what we expected to see. Maybe he will chime in.

I think that the comment about awkward and confusing is valid after I commented about not being able to get "click anywhere" to work in two major browsers and did not see a search box as promised in the text.
posted by terrapin at 6:19 AM on August 31, 2012

Hm - well, hopefully the about page not being the default, and having a clearer 'start' button will help with that. As far as the search box not being there and the click anywhere not working, I have the same OS & browsers and haven't been able to replicate either issue.
posted by tmcw at 6:42 AM on August 31, 2012

When I click on the timestamps of the tweets, I get sent to a page that doesn't exist or to some random person's tweets.
posted by bluefly at 4:31 AM on September 8, 2012

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