Just saw a post from Alex Chitu at the Google Operating System blog about a new feature on Google news letting you see a timeline of articles from a cluster of related articles. Here’s a screenshot, taken from his post:
This strikes me as a cool feature, though it’s frustrating that Google limits you to its predetermined “related articles” clusters. The result is that the entire timeline only spans a couple of days, with most of the posts concentrated in less than a day. It would be nice, at least in my view, to be able to see such timelines across arbitrary ranges, in order to see the arc for a long-running story like a high-profile trial.
You can do that, to some degree, in the timeline view for the Google News archive search, but the archive search stops a few months short of the present day’s news.
I wish Google would take a unified approach to offer what strikes me as a very useful feature–at least for anyone trying to understand and contextualize a news story. But I suppose I can’t complain too much about a free service.