By KELLY BURNS
We all know that search engines like Google and Yahoo! offer quick ways to find news. These sites also make it easy to see what’s popular and what’s getting the most coverage at the time, by their “quick tags” and “top stories” sections. However, the beta site Newsmap is trying something different. Instead of providing lists and links, Newsmap creates a visual “map” that lays out what’s in the news, using treemaps. While still providing the same information as Google and Yahoo! News, Newsmap is just the thing for visual learners.
Newsmap divides the information gathered from sites and presents it in patterns. The info can be separated by general topic such as entertainment or business and world or national news. You can see the common factors of news reporting among various countries and cultures.
The way the information is displayed depends on the type of content and amount of coverage a topic has received. The larger the cell, the larger the amount of related articles exist. This way the user can figure out which stories have been given the most coverage. You can view this by checking the time of day or simply the topic.
Another interesting feature Newsmap offers is the ability to compare the news among different countries, allowing you to see how certain topic are reported in different cultures. You can choose to customize your screen, choosing the countries you want to compare daily. It is interesting to see the differences in how each topic is ranked in comparison to other countries.
While the site is still working out a few bugs, it’s still an interesting tool to use and definitely gives a little perspective to what news is most important across the globe. If nothing else it’s a great browsing tool when wanting to catch up on world news, but not into looking through a list of links or sites.