Google News Timeline is mostly a new way to look at the same material that you can find through Google News Search. The Google engineer who built it, Andy Hertzfeld, says he was inspired by Google Maps, but instead of letting people navigate through space, he wanted to let them navigate through time. So if you want to see all the news reported about HP in April of 2007, for instance, that’s easy to do: you type HP into the search field and set the date for April 2007. When you get is a grid that shows stories about HP arranged in columns, one column for each week of the month.
But that’s kid’s stuff. In addition to searching the Google News database, you can search through content from specific blogs, magazines and newspapers. You can look only for news photos or videos. Or you can search for sports scores or information on movies and books. Want a blow-by-blow account of the year 1424? You can get it through Google’s connection to Wikipedia.
Right now this section is still very much in its infancy. There is no way to cut down on your search—by state, city or even neighborhood—though there are a lot drop-down menus, search fields, date fields, fields for tweaking the display, and ways of rearranging the information by dragging around content sources. But like every Google Labs project, it is still a product in development.