Location-based news is born, says Google

14 May 2011

Google has kick-started a new era of location-driven news. Last night it launched a new feature in its US English Edition of Google News for iPhone and Android devices called ‘News near you.’

The app surfaces news relevant to the city you’re in and surrounding areas.

“Location-based news first became available in Google News inc2008, and today there’s a local section for just about any city, state or country in the world with coverage from thousands of sources,” said Navneet Singh, Product Manager in the official Google blog.

“We do local news a bit differently, analysing every word in every story to understand what location the news is about and where the source is located.

An interesting future for local news

The development heralds an interesting future for local news and radio stations, for example, who should be able to thrive in a world of location-aware smartphones and tablet devices.

The proof of the pudding, however, will be just how far Google takes these entities along on the journey and helps them to yield advertising revenues to remain viable and thrive in this brave new, connected world.

To use feature, visit Google News from the browser of your Android smartphone or iPhone. A pop-up will ask you if you want to share your location. If you say yes, news relevant to your location will appear in a new section called “News near you”.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years