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Mapping Google News 133

Posted by timothy
from the that-hansel-he's-so-hot-right-now dept.
CousinLarry writes "A neat project called Buzztracker.org has been mining Google News for over a year and keeping track of relationships between geographic locations mentioned in articles. The results are some really cool maps that actually seem to reflect the "buzz" of the day - check out the Vatican clusters from earlier this month, or the global New Year's chatter. You can also dig down into the articles from which the maps were generated."
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Mapping Google News

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  • by gateman9 (733995) on Monday April 11, 2005 @06:41PM (#12206254) Homepage Journal
    This is by far one of the most interesting uses of data-mining I've seen in while. Neat to see what are the hotspots, as far as news goes, in the world.

    The guys at Buzztracker desrve a cookie (edible variety).
  • virtual sightseeing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tedtimmons (97599) on Monday April 11, 2005 @06:45PM (#12206305) Homepage
    not news (pun intended), but here is a compilation of neat google maps I've been collecting:

    http://perljam.net/notes/interesting-google-satell ite-maps/ [perljam.net]

    -ted

  • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday April 11, 2005 @06:46PM (#12206311)
    I've noticed an upsurge in "Living Willing" spam since the Terry Schiavo story and even a few Pope-related offers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 11, 2005 @06:46PM (#12206314)
    It looks like the code needs a bit more tuning. http://www.buzztracker.org/index.html lists Nelson, NZ, as one of the hot spots. Clicking on that lists a bunch of articles about apartheid. I think the site code misinterpreted a reference to Nelson Mandela in one of the articles.
  • Does Google mind? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by IBeatUpNerds (827376) on Monday April 11, 2005 @06:46PM (#12206316)
    I remember about a year ago or so, there was a guy who was mining google news to produce an RSS feed. IIRC, google politely demanded that individual stop offering this to people. I can't find the article to cite this, maybe someone can help? At any rate, I wonder how google will feel about this.
  • Animations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doctor O (549663) on Monday April 11, 2005 @06:53PM (#12206387) Homepage Journal
    Now, take the data and put up some nice animations, archive the first 100 articles or so and put it into some nice database to mine for interesting stuff. Should not be too hard to script together the data gathering, you can already start fetching stuff while developing the functionality and frontend.

    Someone wanna join? This cries 'distributed database'... ;)
  • This is pretty nifty (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aftk2 (556992) on Monday April 11, 2005 @06:57PM (#12206414) Homepage Journal
    While mapping the news activity over the whole world is certainly cool, I can see this having an even greater effect when applied to a smaller area. For example, if you're moving somewhere, you could easily see crime news applied to the particular region. It doesn't have all have to be depressing news, either: you could use such a "buzz" indication to find out information like the following:
    • find where there are lots of new jobs being generated
    • view up-and-coming areas by their positive "buzz" (new creative hot spots, architecture, etc...)
    • find areas of town with great new restaurants
    I think this is where it starts to get exciting (and more useful). Mapping Google news? Meh. Mapping the northwest, and giving that information to Citysearch? You betcha.
  • Through With Buzz (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday April 11, 2005 @06:58PM (#12206424) Homepage Journal
    The big circle in the US is called "Washington", which is rated at 03%. It obscures "New York" in the GUI. Boston is available, and the only other US buzz is Grand Rapids, apparently on the strength of a local paper's report 2 days ago of a resident killed in Cairo. I find all that hard to believe, or at least to make into any sense. The GUI is unusable, and the mapping of data to "reality" defies sensibility. I think the buzz has gone to their heads, and they should put the pipe down quick.
  • How are they parsing google news content? Google news does not yet offer an API, correct? What are they doing, screen scraping? You can only query google programmatically about 1000 times a day, I think.

    I wish I had more details...

    And this is a REALLY stupid aspect to tackle--connections between cities.
    THe real cheese would seem to be in word counts, and connections between words--like "economy" and "recession", etc.

  • Why do we need this? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by A Sea and Cake (874933) on Monday April 11, 2005 @07:10PM (#12206497)
    Why do we need this?

    A map that showed where the stories getting the least attention that contained certain keywords - famine, Schiavo, wobbegong, whatever - came from would strike me as more interesting.

    We already know where the stories indicated by this map are coming from, because they're taking up ridiculous amounts of space on the front pages of newspapers everywhere.
  • by MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) <dylanNO@SPAMdylanbrams.com> on Monday April 11, 2005 @07:18PM (#12206542) Homepage Journal
    4 = Sell your business and services to Google.

    New, much better business model than the old one of sell your business to M$ or Intel. Why better business model? Who would you rather work for?
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Monday April 11, 2005 @07:29PM (#12206633) Homepage Journal
    We already know where the stories indicated by this map are coming from, because they're taking up ridiculous amounts of space on the front pages of newspapers everywhere.

    Exactly. If it hadn't been for the Tsunami, would we have seen as many stories from adjacent countries, for example?

    Just because it's not reported, doesn't make it not news. It's just that our filters screen out things that aren't the latest thing.
  • Animate it! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by elambi (251600) on Monday April 11, 2005 @07:40PM (#12206756)
    It would be interesting to watch an animation of where the Buzz is over a period of time.
  • Re:Animations (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jmc (4639) * on Monday April 11, 2005 @07:49PM (#12206848)
    Now, take the data and put up some nice animations...

    Indeed, I see lots of interesting possibilities for mapping and animating data like this on the web.

    In fact, after the last election I had a nifty idea to create some sort of animated map of the US showing how political affiliations have geographically shifted over the years (primarily, the North slowly turning blue and the South slowly turning red). Then I started to think about extending that to a generic web app to display and animate various demographic data. Basically, a very dumbed down and animated online GIS.

    It really would've been somewhat trivial to throw together with Flash, pulling in XML data streams. My biggest stumbling block ended up being finding a nice raw map of the US in vector format, either at the county level or even state level.

    Anyone happen to know of a good source for free vector maps that can be easily imported into Flash?
  • It's actually both:

    From the text (how did I get marked redundant in my first post, even if I did screw up the url somehow):

    In the hope that these events have resulted from your inadvertence rather than your deliberate actions, we propose the following:

    1. We demand that you cease and desist using our search service in a manner that is not authorized by our Terms of Service. This includes, but is not limited to, (1) no longer sending automated queries to www.google.com, or other affiliated sites, and (2) no longer using search results from
    www.google.com or other affiliated sites, except in accordance with our terms of service and this letter. This applies to the GoogleNews menubar interface to Google News as well as any other products or sites that you operate or control.

    2. We demand that you cease and desist using the mark GoogleNews or any other mark or name that incorporates our famous GOOGLE mark or any similar marks.

    3. If you remain interested in providing our award-winning search services to your users, we suggest you visit the variety of programs we offer at http://www.google.com/services/.
  • Newsmap (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @02:22AM (#12209450)
    Some of you may find this [open-news.net] interesting
  • by shlaf (714970) on Tuesday April 12, 2005 @08:18AM (#12210644)
    "Palestine" was a name given by Romes to the province comprising several territories conquered by them - and Gaza was 100% sure among them.

    It is quite confusing to use the name of Palestine nowadays, when the map of the region changes so dramaticlly. For example, before 1922, British Palestine included the territories not only of the modern Israel but also that of the Kingdom of Jordan! In 1949 Gaza and Judea/Samaria (the latter often referred to as the West Bank) were occupied in 1949 by Egypt and Jordan respectively.

    As to the real source of all of the problems in the Middle East, hardly it is the situation with the Palestinian Arabs (which you probably mean here), but instead it a complex combination of problems, including lack of industrial development in the region, complete lack of democracy, extremely levels of education, low level of life, religious fanatism, and corrupted regimes of the Arab nations of the region.

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