Outside.in puts neighborhood news on the map

Brady at O’Reilly Radar has a great post on Outside.in. The startup aggregates local blogs, organizes them by neighborhood and plots them on a map.

I’ve written before about the importance of being hyperlocal. If I were running a media outlet, every story, photo and video would have geographic metadata. Outside.in shows what’s possible once the data is in place.

Among the things you can do:

  • See where things are happening
  • Subscribe to a feed of your neighorhood
  • Discover blogs about your neighborhood
  • Discover and interact with your neighbors

Outside in screenshot

Outside.in has a great visualization comparing blogger vs. mainstream media coverage of local stories. Not surprisingly, bloggers tend to stay on stories longer. While many stories start in MSM, a good number only exist in blogs.

Outside.in provides an interesting contrast to Topix, a local news site that focuses on “official” sources. So far, I’m finding that Outside.in has a much more local feel than Topix because of the wider range of sources. (One of my recommendations for Topix was to leverage local bloggers.)

Right now there’s a lot of clutter in the results, because there isn’t a lot of geo-tagged content in blogs. Outside.in is making guesses based on where the blogger is based, ZIP codes, links to maps and other indicators of location.

As GeoRSS gets more widely adopted, the results should be much cleaner. Platforms like WordPress don’t easily offer ways to geotag their content. Although I don’t often blog about local issues, it would be nice to have the ability to tag the posts that have a local component.

More on: geotagging, journalism 


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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