New tool maps out global newsA UK firm has developed a free, innovative tool that plots breaking news by location.

Developed by Birmingham-based technology firm Daden, NewsGlobe can combine Google's geographic search engine Google Earth with the user's favourite RSS news feeds to present stories on a local, regional or international map.

The application scans headlines for keywords that identify the location of the story, and then presents them by headline with the location pinpointed. A summary of the story appears when the user hovers over the text and they can click through to the full story on the original news site.

The popularity of RSS news feeds and projects such as BBC Backstage has triggered a wave of creative RSS-based tools from the web developing community, said Daden's managing director David Burden.

BBC Backstage was launched in May and encourages developers to use selected BBC content and software to create new applications. Recent contributions to the project have been a Flash-based news reader program and traffic maps.

"There has been an explosion of activity in the past four to five months driven by RSS," said Mr Burden.

"Developers are exploring the possibilities of moving information from one format to another; this application simply uses Google Earth as a news aggregator."

As well as providing a geographical view of breaking news, the application has interesting commercial possibilities for companies with specific or wide ranging regional interests such as estate agents or billboard advertisers.

To use NewsGlobe, web users must have Google Earth installed. More information is available on Daden's website.

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