Let me introduce you to time explorer. It is an interactive site that allows visualization of New York Times archives. It is developed by Yahoo’s Barcelona research lab. At first glance it seems an ordinary time line, but there is one unique feature to this: future exploration.
Yes it gives you the ability to explore future. It is not about making predictions, but instead it provides a way to visually see what news articles tell about future.
How is that useful, you may ask? Let’s answer this question with an example. I searched for Microsoft, and after panning the timeline a bit, I saw the following news bit:
“Under the deal, CareerBuilder will continue to be the exclusive job search engine on Microsoft’s MSN site through 2013, and will pay Microsoft up to $443 million.”
Seemingly trivial piece of news, but to a person looking at CareerBuilder’s future this information can be very useful. Granted, you could find this information with a simple Google search, but it is not about finding one fact. This tool is about seeing news with their relationship to each other in past, present and future.
This tool can be significant asset to everyone, but especially to journalists. This can provide a good platform to start your research, and get a better idea about your topic.
Future of it looks bright. This tool is part of Yahoo’s living knowledge project. I hope to see this tool using more news sources, then we will have a better of idea of its usefulness.
Link to the site: time explorer
Link to the paper explaining what it is : paper