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May 21, 2008

Google News Layer for Google Earth

There's a new layer for Google Earth that shows Google News stories related to a location. At the recent "Factory Tour of Search" event, Google explained the difficulties of automatically identifying the locations of a news story. For example, just because a news article includes "Paris" doesn't mean that the article talks about France's capital. It could be about the Texas city or Paris Hilton, so the algorithm needs to disambiguate names, identify complete addresses and determine the importance of an alleged location in a text. Google News also uses its automatically-generated clusters to validate locations and their importance to a news story.

"The launch of Google News on Google Earth is a milestone in the evolution of the geobrowser. By spatially locating the Google News' constantly updating index of stories from more than 4,500 news sources, Google Earth now shows an ever-changing world of human activity as chronicled by reporters worldwide. Zoom into areas of personal interest and peruse headlines of national, regional and, when fully zoomed in, even the most local of interest," says Brandon Badger, Product Manager of Google's Geo team.

To enable the Google Earth layer, go to the Layers sidebar, expand "Gallery" and select "Google News" from the impressive list of overlays. Another news-related layer that has been recently added to Google Earth is for New York Times, but it's likely that the news are geo-coded manually.

If you want to read news related to a location in your browser, add a local section to the personalized Google News homepage. "Adding a Local News section allows you to track news stories from and about a particular city or region. While this function is currently only available in our English language editions, we hope to add more languages and regions in the near future," explains the Google News help center.


  1. Can this layer be dropped on Google Maps?

  2. I suppose Google needs to create a mapplet for Google Maps.

  3. The local news doesn't work, and there is no useful help to be found anywhere.

  4. Still broken, even without local. Shows stories that are 2+ years old, when you click on "see all ### articles, opens browser to Google News but finds zero articles.


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