Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another way to look at the news

The internet gives us lots of different ways to see the news: you can look at the front pages of papers from around the world, you can subscribe to news feeds and get an updated list of stories delivered daily, you can visit digital versions of your favourite daily, you can check out video and audio clips of the big stories on CBC or CNN.

But all of these avenues are essentially text (and pictures) presented in ways we recognize. What if there was another way to look at the news? Using a format similar to tag clouds, Marumushi has created a clever way to represent the important stories of the hour by mapping out Google News items on a grid. The size of the story relates to how much it is being talked about. In their words: "In Newsmap, the size of each cell is determined by the amount of related articles that exist inside each news cluster that the Google News Aggregator presents. In that way users can quickly identify which news stories have been given the most coverage, viewing the map by region, topic or time." Yes, you can choose your country and even filter to exclude certain types of stories. (ie. sports or entertainment.)

Could this catch on? Take a look at their "NewsMap" and see if you agree.