News always finds its place on the map. But we are going to talk in a more literal sense here when we discuss ways to view news on a world map. The large number of choices alone have made digesting news a click and read affair. But if we do not limit ourselves to a few selected tools, we can lose ourselves in a deluge of information.
Just check out all the news apps we have covered over the years; with the sheer number of apps you don’t have an excuse anymore to remain unknowing. So, where do map based news aggregators fit in?
Map based news aggregators’ present news as a cluster on an online map. One advantage is that you can see newsworthy locations at a glance. The second is that map and news mashup tools allow you to quickly narrow down to the local news of any place you are interested in.
So, let’s go around with these map based news apps and see some headlines around the world.
Mapeas brings video news and puts it on a Google Map. It syndicates news from sources like Associated Press, Fox, NBC etc. The Google Map is spotted with markers which are clickable. The markers are also category specific. Magnify on a region to find more markers; the numbered markers indicate the number of news clips in that area.
Clicking on a marker pops up a box with a news brief and a video thumbnail. If you find that the news clip is not accurate for the area, you can mark it as misplaced.
Buzztracker is a more “˜diagnostic’ tool because it allows you to see the relationships between major happenings around the world. The news app tracks English language news sources and presents the news interlinks on a Google powered map.
Cities which get higher news coverage get larger circles. News connections are shown by lines, and thicker lines stands for deeper links between the news sources. Clicking on a location takes you to an index page which mentions the city and the percentage of news associated with it. Associated locations and the news articles are mentioned alongside.
The Google Maps mashup puts news sourced from Google News on locations around the world. The interactive map also uses the geographical database of Geonames.org for location information. The site is very simple, you just have to point your mouse at a spot on the map and a balloon pops up with the headlines for the country.
If it’s Washington Post, then the news and opinions has to be worth a read. The interactive map brings articles, photos, video and commentary from around the globe. The large numbers represent news clusters and you have to click once on the icon to drill down. A cool timeline shows peaks of news coverage for the day when you click on the play button. You can also use the little text box at the top to filter the type of news you are interested in.
BBC’s most popular stories (and most emailed) can be grouped according to region using the small clickable map. The color tones also comparatively show where most of the readership is coming from. The world map allows you to see which stories are generating the most buzz in different parts of the world. Clicking on a continent will automatically re-order the top 10 news items for that particular continent. All this happens in real time.
Here is another small example of a BBC News and Google Map mashup. I guess because of BBC’s leanings towards the British Isles, you get to see a larger cluster around that region.
News Map is a simple mashup of Google Maps and news from Yahoo Search. Clicking on a region of the map brings up a list of 10 news links alongside.
We covered Newseum briefly in 5 Sites to Find Local Newspapers Published Around the World. You can either use Bing (Beta) or a Flash map to pinpoint a location and open up its daily newspaper’s front page. The newspapers sourced are quite widespread. It’s a really cool way to see what’s making the headlines around the world.
The mashup of news and maps show that news can be read differently. Although the number of news articles is not huge in the maps, depending on need and time, you can go for the straight-laced news portals or try out the more visual and interactive forms of reading map based news.
Tell us about the one you are interested in.
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