Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Topical News Mapping : NewsIsFree News Maps

News Maps is a new visual mapping facility bringing together the most popular/recent news in pre-selected topic areas together with an effective set of customization controls to personalize your news panorama. Along the effective lines of earlier newsmaps (Stamen and Newsmap) Newsisfree News Maps offer indeed an effective way to scan the news landcsape on a specific topic. Not only: Newsisfree News Maps are fully cusytomizable allowing the journalist, reporter or marketing specialist to narrow the scope of the view by utilizing multiple dynamic variables (keywords, freshness and popularity) and by also being able to arrange the best view of such aggregated information according to your preferences. News Maps allow you to quickly scan dozens of news articles and instantly understand what's being reported on each theme.

By hovering the mouse on the newsmap one can obtain additional details including the ability to zoom, track or email the article to someone. For now News Maps cover Technology, Sport, Health, Science, Entertainment, USA and Top News.

According to NewsisFree, "to make the News Map useful" they have introduced a so-called newsrank algorithm. This algorithm takes into account a variety of anonymous data that are being collected by Newsisfree and which allow an intelligent ranking filter applied to all that is shown inside the newsmaps. Among these are:

  • Ranking of clicks on stories from this news source

  • Ranking of subscriptions to this news source

  • How popular is a news headlines (Ranking of it's clicks against a click band)

  • How many Weblogs refer to this headline

(Even your clicks on specific news stories in the News Map - "but also the clicks on Newsisfree available RSS feeds do get accounted for. One of the effects of this approach is that stories from a major news source (e.g. CNN) start with a higher popularity ranking than a story from an unknown Weblog.)"

Let's hope that the next customization step is for the users themselves to suggest/select/build the topics/maps they are truly interested in. This is way too generic for now, but it definitely shows the incredible potential of this approach.

Information search must be visual.

Very effective. A must-try.



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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, August 3 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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