Visualizing data… that’s what mapping is all about. At GeoMetrx, our specialty is creating and mapping franchise territories and sales territories. Maps helps us conceptualize the story data is trying to tell in a way that is easy to understand. There is virtually no data World Newsthat cannot be mapped in some way, and while we tend to think of maps as being limited to physical geography, as important and valuable as that is, the truth is the only limit of mapping is our imagination.

Whenever we come across unique data mapping projects, we like to share them with you. Our most recent discovery is the NewsMap app (be patient it can take a moment to load), which visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News aggregator. Utilizing a treemap algorithm to display a large amount of information, the service has taken the concept a step further. The app divides news stories into bands that are divided by content and location around the globe. Users can view the biggest topics trending around the globe across all categories, or narrow in on a particular news segment in a single country. Below is a view of the current news stories trending across all categories in the U.S. at the time of the publication of this post (2/28/14):

NewsMap Image All

Much like a word cloud, the greater attention by media outlets to a given topic or newstory, the larger and more prominent the placement of the story in the treemap. Hover over a headline for a summary of the topic as well to see how many related articles are out there:

NewsMap Image Top Story

Currently, the app provides trending news for 19 countries grouped by 7 categories:

  • World
  • National
  • Business
  • Technology
  • Sports
  • Entertainment
  • Health

You can quickly register for a free account and customize your news settings. This app is one of the best ways to filter out all the noise on the Internet and quickly get a sense of the hottest topics. Funny, and true, story… a couple of weeks ago my son called home from World Thumbs Upcollege and he mentioned the flap about ‘flappy birds’, the app that was temporarily pulled out of the app stores by its owner. Thanks to NewsMap, I knew exactly what he was talking about. Seeing that it was a trending story that day, I hovered, read the summary and moved on, and enjoyed my son’s surprise that I was ‘hip’ to the latest tech gossip!