Gowanus & Newtown tide bots

Neil Freeman, 2012
Twitter robots in PHP
daily tweets

The Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek are industrial waterways in New York City. Both are heavily polluted, and both were formerly parts of tidal salt marshes. Centuries of development have altered everything about the landscapes of Newtown and Gowanus. They're edged with bulkheads instead of reeds, their tributaries are now sewers, and the mill ponds, copper plants, and coal works are long gone. The tides persist, an ever-present daily pattern of shifting water levels, driving invisible flows in the water tables around the canal and creek. Inspired by @riverthames, these twitter bots speak in the first person, cajoling you to come see the tide, to look carefully and closely.

The twittering waterways' knowledge is drawn from NOAA tide tables.

Gowanus Canal @therealgowanus

I have a high tide in 59 minutes. I'll be 29 inches deeper than average. That's quite low.

59 minutes ago - reply - retweet

Newtown Creek @newtown_creek

I have a high tide in 39 minutes. I'll be 24 inches above average.

59 minutes ago - reply - retweet