[Note that I appear to be using Typepad's latest version of their blog editor which has quality issues of its own. It doesn't appear to be able to handle images properly so the image in this post isn't of the correct size - please click on it to get the intended view.]
It's nice to see this feature getting some attention on Google News (while the idea is hardly new, execution is all that matters!). Essentially, news that is gathered by the Google News product is now available as a layer in Google Earth - the 3d geographic visualization tool. The challenge with geolocating news is to figure out what location is to be located. It could be:
- The locations being discussed in the story,
- The location of the source
- The location of the author/filing desk for the story
It looks like the Google Earth layer attempts to do the former (which is probably the correct one for most user expectations).
However, geolocation is tricky. The first article that I looked at in this layer was: Tibetan monks at work at Bastyr. This university is located on the north east side of Lake Washington, near Kenmore. Google Earth locates this story about 30 miles north, near North Marysville.
In addition, in the interaction with the layer, I'm provided with a link to view all articles. Clicking on this link brings me to a page which states that 'No related articles were found'.
As I said, this is a feature I really like, but unfortunately, my very first experience with Google's implementation of it has been pretty negative.
Below is a screen shot to give you an indication of the experience. Note also that there are some encoding issues visible in the display - another quality issue that Google may want to fix.
[For some other approaches to this, have a look at my old DataSphere project.]