There's been lots of coverage around the web today of the role that social media is playing in reporting about the wildfires in Southern California. Twitter and Google Maps have received the most coverage but there are probably infinite permutations of those two tools and others, as well. One tool that just happened to launch today is TwitterWhere, a service that makes tracking Tweets from any location easy to do. I couldn't help but think of San Diego when I saw it.
You provide the location, by city, state or postal code, then provide a proximity radius and TwitterWhere will create an RSS feed of all the Tweets from Twitter users within that area. Here on the right is the live feed of the most recent items from within 50 miles of San Diego.
TwitterWhere was built by Portland developer Matt King, co-founder of the happy-hour geo-locator Unthirsty, and first coverage of the service was on Silicon Florist - a blog that covers the tech community in the hotbed of innovation that I just happen to live in, Portland, Oregon.
Our thoughts go out to the people driven from their homes by wildfires in the area, the last report we heard that they were numbered more than 1 million. Some (including myself) believe that this sort of event is likely to occur with greater frequency in the future due to ecological imbalance; one thing that's not disputable though is that social media will play an increasingly important role in media coverage of events like this.