Valentin Sawadski

Blogs, Twitter and the Kindle set out to change the publishing business. And lot of things have indeed changed for the better. But one fundamental limitation has remained. We still read news as loosely coupled text printed in columns!

News on a Map

This is bad because it puts news out of context. A news headline can not stand for itself, it is always part of a bigger story and so the editor has always to include a short introduction to put his news into the big picture. But this always gives room for interpretation on the writers side and is conflicting with the goal of objective news. Also it makes it really hard for readers to follow the events in the world. Think of the EU debt crisis. When did it start? What events caused a reaction from France & Germany, what events did not? What is the timeline for the escalations in the crisis? There are news articles for each of these questions but their connection is not shown in a obvious way. Thus making it really hard to answer these questions, even if you have followed the news consistently, because you have to memorize all these links and connections yourself!

And I think we can overcome this limitation by looking at Facebook and Flickr! No I'm serious! Facebook with it's massive social graph has shown the value behind linking loosely coupled information together. And with Flickr is just fun to browse geotagged pictures before your next vacation. And we should do the exactly same with news!

Imagine a map where all the news of the world are geotagged, put into context and can be displayed in stories and timelines. I think it is a very promising Idea so I created a quick Powerpoint Mockup.

So what do you think? I'd be happy if you share your opinions and impressions with me.



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