We are excited to be a part of the "geospatial revolution", unlocking the potential of combining web maps with location-based (geocoded) media. Skylens is providing a new way to aggregate, derive and visualize social media intelligence. Have you wondered how it really looks around that exotic travel destination? Do you want to discover more content in your own neighborhood? Or are you perhaps researching serious issues, such as looking for evidence that could document human rights abuse? There are a host of different use cases and we always have asked ourselves why there is no app for this yet. With Skylens we are trying to bridge this gap while staying as transparent as possible. Past controversies, related to the marketing of social media-monitoring to law-enforcement agencies have shown the pitfalls of this type of technology. Most companies active in this field have since quietly closed down. That is why Skylens only works within the user’s own account limits. No exclusive access to “firehose” privileges. We believe this is the only viable way forward for this type of application and are looking to build a community along these values.
Skylens has been developed over the course of one year by a diverse team of enthusiasts. The backend is written in the Flask microframework (with plans to move to Quart for async functionality), MySQL and a set of Python libraries. For the frontend, we decided to settle with Vue.JS, which hopefully will make later ports to native mobile apps easier. Please be aware that the dependency on third-party API's may result in the need for frequent updates and access to their search feeds can be withdrawn at any point. We will try to work around these uncertainties as good as possible, but cannot guarantee that all social media platforms will remain supported in future versions. Further features are planned to be rolled out during the coming year with a focus on serving the needs for open-source intelligence (OSINT) gathering. If you are interested in our project or want to support us, please join our forum or contact us directly.