Buzztracker Maps Google World News Directory

By Posted 2005 Updated   Tips

Buzztracker visualizes frequencies and relationships between locations in the Google world news directory. Buzztracker tries to show you how interconnected the world is: big events in one area ripple to other areas across the globe. Connections between cities thousands of miles apart become apparent at a glance.

Buzztracker only tracks English-language news sources. Move the mouse over the map to read the location names. Click on a city and relevant news stories will appear. Click “+ Enlarge” to get a larger version of the world map. Buzztracker consists of two types of pages. Daily Indexes and Individual Location Indexes. Buzztracker offers a daily RSS feed of the latest image and top 10 locations.

On the daily index page, you should see a list of cities with percentage of news stories that city is associated with for that day. Locations that appear more often are represented by red circles on the map. The more frequently the cities appear, the larger the circle. Connections between locations are determined by intercontextual referencing in news articles. These connections are represented by lines between locations. The stronger the connection, the darker the line.

The Individual Location Indexes page – shows the top 20 locations for the day. The associated locations lists locations appearing in the same articles as the selected location. The percentages represent the strength of association. Associated Articles lists all articles associated with the selected location. The number to the left in parentheses is the number of times the location appears in the article. The articles are sorted by frequency.

The project was originally programmed in winter 2002-03 using Macromedia Director. The current incarnation is meant to be as light and simple to navigate as possible. It is written in PHP and MySQL. New news data is dynamically added daily. Buzztracker is a project of Chin Music Press.


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