Newspaper Map: The coolest way to visually surf newspapers

If you have work to do today, don’t click on this link. No really. This — Newspaper Map — is quite possibly the coolest way to visually surf newspapers online that I’ve ever seen. It’s my new favorite use of Google Maps and one of the most original and ambitious uses I’ve seen: Practically every newspaper in the world — 10,000+ spanning every continent and many languages — is represented.

I can’t stop tweaking it and playing around with the settings. You can sort by language — only English, por favor? Or by address/city/country/etc. I’ve pretty much just enjoyed twirling through the globe in search of the most obscure or isolated newspapers. It’s fascinating, for example, that there are two publications in tiny Tahiti: Les Nouvelles de Tahiti and Tahiti-Pacifique. You can even load it on your smart phone and play around with the app version. Here’s a look at the US English papers to give you an idea of how extensive their listing is:

If you go to the map and click on one of the dots, it brings up a pop-up with a link to the page, a screenshot of the homepage, and links to social media sites affiliated with the page. It also — and this is especially cool when you’re looking at papers in languages you don’t speak — offers to translate the site.

From what I can tell, it’s not new (I saw some references to the site from January), but it’s new to me.  Thanks to David Carr of the NYT for linking to this map on Twitter. I saw it there first, and lots of places after that.

It’s not flawless, either. For example, under major newspapers it lists a bunch of suburan Cincinnatti papers, but not the Indianapolis Star? In fact, the Indy Star wasn’t appearing at all in Indiana, but seemed to be in the database somewhere. (I couldn’t get the add/correct a link page to work for me in Firefox, so if someone else has better luck, please fix this.) But it’s great that they are crowd sourcing to find the papers they missed or don’t know about. And honestly, it does seem a relatively complete collection.

So enjoy your lunch hour or waste the afternoon looking at the map and discovering papers and news from across the world. Want to follow Newspaper Map updates? They’re even on Twitter and Facebook.