Tuesday, October 02, 2007

NYTimes Archives Hack & Google Maps Mashup

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Every now and then I stumble upon a mashup that when viewing the data being combined with Google Maps you realize the far reaching possibilities of what can be done with the data source. Here's one of them...

Times & Space is a very crude maps hack (best viewed in Firefox) combining the entire New York Times Archives with Google Maps. It's a hack that doesn't look like it's attempting to be a polished NewsMap mashup but rather a sandbox to try to prove a concept: showing how people can access millions of free archived articles and images from the NYTimes website. The mashup example should be enough to give anyone a clear view as to how to engineer links to any data in NYT Archives (within the time range). Also, since this archive is all in the public domain, it's freely available to be mashed up! Be sure to check here for more source code for this mashup.

From the user experience perspective the Times & Space concept is pretty neat as well. To use it, enter a Year/Month/Day (as far back as 1910) and locations from that day's New York Times newspaper are presented in a text list. Roll over the location and the page appears on the the right and when selecting it the Google Map viewport gets centered on that location with a short excerpt from the story appearing in the info-window. Be patient and for best results just stick to 1910-1920. If it doesn't respond, refresh and try again (remember this isn't polished). Time & Space will hopefully give way to many more interesting Google Maps news mashups and Mapplets that use the endless amount of archived news available for free from the New York Times website..

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