At the moment as long as you map something your on the top. Mapping is not only very much 2009 but also 2008 and probably 2007. However, mapping is no longer only to be understood in a very simple physical geography sense, but can be applied to any field really. It is extensively found in medicine and as far as literature.
One very interesting application of mapping can be found in the visualisation of news. There is very little as boring as browsing the news to find something you are interested in. For me it is either the headline I want to read or I don’t want to read it. I am lazy, am I? Partially it is probably also the news industry that trained consumers to go for the bold headlines and this now bites back. There is simply too much information out there, especially on the internet. Look at Google News, probably the most pragmatic way to present news. TV stations or news paper web sites usually take a more sophisticated approach to sort and resent the content. However they also have to sell ‘a product’, where Google only drags together headlines. Because of the wast amount it is about organising and making the interesting bits and pieces easily accessible for completely different tastes and interests.
The question really is, how do you do this. Mapping might be a good start.
Image by urbanTick - screenshot of the website in full screen mode (click on the image for the real dynamic version)
The NewsMap.jp project uses a treemap visualisation algorithm to display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualisations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognisable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe.
The newsMap creators website can be found HERE, there is also a project bog.