Many news sources prefix their stories with the location the report was issued from, for example "HONG KONG --" or "LONDON --". Boston Globe for example. This is parsed out of the RSS feed and compared to a database of cities and countries. Once a match is found, latitude and longitude data is used to plot the story's location on the globe.

I never got around to polishing the user interface. I really wanted to hover stories directly over locations. However, I am pleased with the three-dimensional Earth, which can be rotated with mouse drags and zoomed using the scroll wheel. The graphics were done using JOGL (OpenGL bindings for Java). I also wanted to have a slider which controlled the current date, so you could jump back in time and see the top stories from the past. For example, Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall or North Africa during 1942. This will likely become a future project.

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© Chris Harrison