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update 2: Newsmap is back online! the server IP is now whitelisted and the parser is up and running.

Marcos Weskamp: "Thank you so much for your help and comments. It's really amazing to see such a positive response from everyone. I'm really moved. Now that we are back in place, and hopefully "legal", I'll jump back into development for the 2.0 version. Expect updates soon :)

update 1: Marcos Weskamp (the Newsmap developer) is in touch with the Google News team, and they are trying to figure something out.

Google Newsmap, one of the most information aesthetic visualizations existing today (my one & only screensaver), has ceased to exist.

"As of today, November 15th 2007, Google decided to pull the plug on it by shutting down access to the parser I use to scrape their HTML. Newsmap basically reads their site and takes all the bits needed to create a one screen visualization of all the news they themselves scrape from the rest of the internet. Google offers RSS feeds for some of their pages, however, the data required to create the visualization does not exist there. The Newsmap HTML parser is key to grab Google News data.

help save Newsmap now by adding a comment either on this post, or go to the newsmap blog. maybe someone at Google will notice...

[link: newsmap.blogspot.com]


from the newsmap blog: "Sorry, I should have explained about it a bit more you are right.

Basically they've blocked my server IP address from accessing their site. True, I've been using an 'undocumented' feature, and that is reading their HTML to extract the bits needed to create the visualization.

At the time when my parser attempts to read from Google News I receive back a 403 error.

If the data needed to create the visualization existed through an officially supported channel, I'd be more than happy to move there, but again that hasn't been made available yet.

I have absolutely nothing against Google, and they are completely in their right if they want to shut me down. I love Google news and I'll continue using it as much as I've done for the past 4 years.

Of course if there is a chance we can work something out, I'd be more than delighted to discuss."



Its a pitty! I liked it a lot, too. If they do not resume it, we should create our own!

Fri 16 Nov 2007 at 7:08 PM

Google has GOT to find a way to make this right. This has been one of my favorite new visualizations for a while now.

Fri 16 Nov 2007 at 7:25 PM

NOOOO! They HAVE to bring it back. It was so much better to "read" than any other news site.

Fri 16 Nov 2007 at 8:38 PM

With so many other mashups of Google data out there - think Google maps - it seems silly why the newsmap should be disabled.
Especially as it's one of the coolest such.

Fri 16 Nov 2007 at 9:10 PM

Newsmap is the coolest visualization for Google News ever and it has been a real pioneer on mashups. Please, bring it back!

Fri 16 Nov 2007 at 9:35 PM
Gorka Beaumont

Bring it back, please!

Fri 16 Nov 2007 at 10:39 PM

google - don't be evil.

Fri 16 Nov 2007 at 11:11 PM

Agreed with everyone, especially the "Don't be evil", Google. Google is quickly becoming Microsoft, circa 1995.

Fri 16 Nov 2007 at 11:51 PM

bring it back! come on!

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 12:05 AM

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease bring it back!!!!!!!

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 12:16 AM

I would love too see Google develop some different RSS feeds of Google news containing different kinds of info, maybe even extend the feed to have extra XML fields with news-specific data in it?

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 12:33 AM

No way! This service was a great service that always filled me with respect for Google providing this data!

How dare Google deny me this!

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 1:58 AM

hi google, please be user-friendly and let the project "newsmap" alive. it´s an advertising for your site. or how about buying "newsmap" to keep it alive?

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 2:24 AM
oliver m.

I don't think it was an intentional decision on googles behalf to stop newsmap from working, they just probably reformatted their page layout and broke the parser. Few hours of work and it should be able to function again.

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 2:30 AM

We need this user interface in web: it is one of most creatives interface for news. A real inspiration!

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 3:12 AM
Paulo Coimbra

It seems it was intentional, considering the http error code he's getting. Screen scraping forces them to re-concider every change they make to a page that really shouldn't act as an API. Maybe a real API is in the future?

If you really want to keep working this way, port the parser to javascript. Have clients run it as a bookmarklet and you won't even have to worry about bandwidth anymore.

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 3:41 AM

keep newsmap!!!

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 4:09 AM

I agree - if Google ultimately decides to take it down (boooo), we should try to create our own rendition! "It's silly to be in awe of something because you can make it better." - Ditmar Winkler

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 4:12 AM

This is a real shame. I've been using Newsmap as an example of a great visualization for years. And there's the irony, of course--Google was accused of misappropriation of data when Google News first started up.

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 4:41 AM
greg weller

i need newsmap...please bring it back...it's the future

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 6:09 AM

This is indeed an odd move for Google to make. Lately they've seemed to be 'closing' their thoughts on 'open' source information.

Possibly the beginning of a Microsoft-like proprietary mentality.

I too, have used NewsMap as a great example of Information Visualizations in my Interface Design course. It's a shame to see it go, but maybe it can be reinvented using feeds from various sources instead of relying on Google.

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 7:19 AM

This is particularly odd as there are no ads on Google news, so Newsmap isn't even "taking" any ad profits away. And as we all know, the news data isn't Google's--they're just arranging it. Newsmap re-arranges it.

And aside from ethical and quasi-legal arguments, Newsmap is just cool. It's easily one of the best infovis products ever...so Google, bring it back.

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 8:34 AM

Late to the party; but wanted to show my support. It's an excellent visualization and it'd be a shame if it were shut down.

Sat 17 Nov 2007 at 9:22 AM

google - don't be evil.

Sun 18 Nov 2007 at 2:28 AM

I have never used newsmap myself, but the simple fact they scrape the news themsleves should make this a ridiculous stance.

Mon 19 Nov 2007 at 10:39 AM

Rendez-nous Newsmap

Mon 19 Nov 2007 at 9:49 PM
Alex T

bump! :)

Wed 21 Nov 2007 at 1:40 AM

Save it!

Thu 22 Nov 2007 at 7:00 AM
Ian Jorgensen

News Map is a nice work. Should be included in google, not shutted down!

Sat 24 Nov 2007 at 12:12 AM

I am currently doing a similar project as you, i was wondering how are you retrieving news data from the net to your processing.. ?

Wed 12 Nov 2008 at 1:34 AM
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