Screens Around Town: Google News and Newsmap 37signals 03 Jul 2006

13 comments Latest by Gavin McLelland

Google News


…displayed visually by Newsmap.


“Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator…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.”

13 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Joshua Blankenship 03 Jul 06

Bookmarks come and go for me, but Newsmap has been in my “Daily” folder ever since it launched. Beautiful, useful, intuitive, colorful… what more could I ask for?

(Other than the ability to Command+click each article so it opens in a new tab instead of a new window.)

Mike Rundle 03 Jul 06

Newsmap has been out for a little while, but it’s still absolutely incredible. I can’t imagine the work that went into producing such a hot information interface.

Matt Lee 03 Jul 06

I’d like to see this implemented in standard, instead of using proprietary tech like Flash, but it seems cool.

brad 03 Jul 06

I actually find the Google News interface more appealing than Newsmap, which feels distracting and overwhelming to me, and very “gimmicky.”

But in the end, after using Google News for over a year, I went back to regular newspaper sites like the New York Times, where real people decide what the “top” news stories are.

Rahul 03 Jul 06

“Proprietary tech like Flash”

Flash is as much of a standad as anything, and serves the purpose of a non-standard UI design extremely well since you have more freedom within the browser to create non-standard UI elements. Criticizing its application here for reasons like that is pretty daft.

SpiderMoney 03 Jul 06

I love Newsmap. I found it about 6 months ago but kept quiet about it, because I presumed that if it was experimental, it would get pulled if it started attracting loads of traffic.

But in the end, while I loved the graphical display and felt it was very effective, like brad, I went back to proper news sites, because you just can’t beat an expert human editor.

Geof Harries 04 Jul 06

Newsmap has been around since April 2004. No matter if it’s Flash, W3C web standards or a pen + napkin, the idea and superb execution are what really matters.

Dave 04 Jul 06

Not to mention that objects like flash now require a click to activate, then another click to use in updated versions of IE, which is ridiculously non-user friendly.

Fredrik Wärnsberg 04 Jul 06

I must say that it’s a good thing that google got that new design lead - it’s badly needed :P

ID34 05 Jul 06

Its awesome but I just couldn’t use it.. I doubt many could… marumushi’s work really is ingenius… maybe they could make another version of this that presents the data in a more newspaper style fashion… hmm

r00ts 05 Jul 06

this (newsmap) is seriously the worst site ever in my opinion, i can’t read anything, it’s a typographic mess!

Gavin McLelland 07 Jul 06

I love newsmap to this day I still use it. Technology wise I’m sure it could be done much better today, but the visual weighted-tag style interface get the point across. Keep in mind that this version of newsmap has been around since September 16, 2004!

@Matt Lee

Don’t confuse flash(FLA) with SWF. Although SWF is not yet an open standard like SVG macromedia(now adobe) does make the format available to the public and there are many commercial and open source tools that are available for parsing and generating the actual SWF file. Flash just happens to be the most in use browser plug-in and IDE for the SWF format.


Not all implementations of the IE object require a ‘click’ to activate. There are many publish articles on how objects need to be implemented in IE now. In any even this is an IE limitation (whats new =p) not a mark against the SWF format.


newsmap is vector based and the type is scalable. If you are having troubles viewing the type, it would be because you display is too small also most SWF viewers allow you to zoom in or out. You could argue a usability issue here of course but I think that is beyond the scope of the application, its more of a proof of concept technology preview.

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