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Creating Human Connections to the News

by ryan • October 20

Like most people, the evening news struggles to reach me in a tangible way - stories about people in far away lands, or even next door, have very little relevance to my daily life and therefore very little connection to me.  Yes, it's an "ugly American" thing to say, but I bet most of you would agree.

But what if you could create a map of the news events of your life, plot them according to importance and tie them together into threads of meaning and connection for you?  At Pop! Tech 20011 today, the NY Times unveiled the first news memory map, as part of a broader Pop! Tech iPad app.

"For news to emerge from unstructured data, it requires us to insert ourselves," Michael Zimbalist of the Times' R&D Lab says. "News exists at the intersection of the past and the present, and while news is experienced collectively, we want to bring to it our personal experiences."  It's these human connections that make it relevant to us, not only at the time it happens, but in retrospect as well.

Aside from personalizing the news and world events, it's just a really cool bit of data visualization that makes me a little giddy about what the NY Times R&D lab will come up with next.  Check out an article on Good to get more details and see some of the other cool infographics and data design packed into the Pop! Tech app.