Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Different View of the News

Found an interesting visual news aggregator called Newsmap

Based on the Google news aggregator it assembles news live, as it happens, and can be viewed in a number of different formats.
I will let the creator explain how it works--I'm not sure I could adequately describe how a "treemap visualization algorithm" functions.
Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe.

Newsmap does not pretend to replace the googlenews aggregator. Its objective is to simply demonstrate visually the relationships between data and the unseen patterns in news media. It is not thought to display an unbiased view of the news; on the contrary, it is thought to ironically accentuate the bias of it.
It's sorta like what Drudge does, but without the human intervention and direction. Of course, it is still dependent on the news agencies and the writers to report and create the stories in the first place.

With a lot of the original news content being created by newspapers (especially large papers like NY Times, Washington Post, and LA Times); it will be interesting to observe as newspaper newsrooms continue to shrink what will become of a lot of this reporting. Who will pick up the slack and report the news? Or will some stories go unreported? Or with less detail?

I suspect it will morph into whatever viable financial model works. Whether that is good for the news business and the news consumer we'll have to wait and see.

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