Rob Fracisco

User Interface Designer

Newzwag Map

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This was my favorite project while working for Newzwag. The goal was to find new and interesting ways to browse the latest news as it came in on the AFP news wire. Because of the wide international scope of the stories, the first step for us was to build a real time map display of the most recent stories harnessing the power of the Google map API. Also built in were filters which allowed for the endless slicing and dicing of the news content based on specific geographical areas, timeframes, and article categories. A video-like player allowed for the autoplay of the content as well. For a while, it became my personal choice for following global news. I'd simply kick back after work, hit the play button, and watch as the map would jump from headline to headline. The end goal, which you can see a little of in the last few screen grabs, was to build a tool that would allow anyone, including our staff of editors, to collect stories into 'topics' that would then be able to be 'widgetized' and used elsewhere on the web. I thought this would have been a great way for independent journalists, especially those dealing with international issues, to have another tool to add more depth, beyond the written word, to their own content.

It's unfortunate that we were never able to finish it before Newzwag ended, but the process of working on this really forced me to think of the infinite ways that news data could be displayed and which ways work better then others.

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