Google Maps, Newspapers

LATimes Homicide Report – Drill Down Content Down Right

At least once per week, I just over and visit Google Maps Mania to see what the latest map mashups they have posted. Some of them are very interesting and really demonstrate how you can integrate maps and content together. One post that was intriguing was the launch of the LATimes Homicide Report, posted by Mike Pegg.

LA Times Homicide Report Map Mashup

You can see the actual Homicide Map at the LATimes web site however some of the features include:

* Filter by victim’s race, gender, cause of death, and other parameters
* Find homicides near an address and/or ZIP code
* View photos of victims and link to Leovy’s reports
* RSS feeds or Google Earth viewing

Now, before you start thinking that I like to view “morbid” content online, I will tell you why I am posting specifically about this site. If you disregard the content, ie) the homicides, and simply appreciate the mashup for the simplicity of the design and the ability, as a user to very easily “drill-down” and filter the content – you may agree with me that this is a very well done mashup.

This is a great example of a traditional media outlet who has combined their content with a user focused interface. I give full credit to the design team and I think this mashup has lots of lessons that can learned by other traditional media about how to combine content and user interface.

Here’s a thought for traditional media – what if you take this concept and bring local news, community events, etc. in the same presentation? I may want to view my news at a global, national, regional, city or local view – could my local news content be plotted on a map? Could it contain a method to drill-down and filter the content using the same approach?