New Feature for POPURLS

POPURLS is a great news aggregation site that I have talked about before. When I first saw POPURLS I was impressed by the slick coding and ease of use that this site oozed. I still am that impressed and enjoy a visit from time to time. Since I use a stand-alone application for reading feeds I don’t have much cause to make regular visits. But it is still a pleasure to take a trip.

So I noticed that POPURLS has a new feature, or it is more like a new related site. Called POPURLS.TV. It is yet another Google Maps Mash-Up that tracks in real time the stories that users are clicking on the POPURLS homepage. There is a list view at the top of the page that gives you the top stories over the last hour, the last 24 hours and the last 78 hours.

You can also switch the font size size and also the background colour if you please. Nice features. The listed stories are clickable as you might expect. Watch in Full Screen if you please as well.

Another voyeuristic look at the world I guess, but it is nicely done in typical Thomas Marban style and that is nice to watch. As good a reason as any to check it out.

POPURLS.TV

Global Security Threat Map

This would have to be one of the more unique uses of a Google Map Mash-up that I have seen. I would that that it would be somewhat useful, especially if you were travelling or just plain paranoid.

The site is Global Incident Map. It is somewhat “old school” as far as the appearance goes but that is not what is important. The main feature is a Google Map that has all of the current “threats” or incidents that have or are occurring from all over the world. These threats are categorized by their own icon on the map:

  • Airport and Aviation Incidents
  • Biological Threats as well as Hoaxes
  • Bomb, Explosives including Hoaxes
  • Chemical Incidences
  • Dam Incidents
  • Radiation Incidents including Smuggling and Proliferation
  • Chemical Attack
  • Shipping and Maritime, Ports and Waterways Security
  • Railways and Train Stations
  • Bus Stations, Buses and Related Security
  • Bridge and Tunnel Incidents
  • Shootings and Sniper Attacks
  • Assassinations including Attempts
  • Terrorist Arrests and Kill Locations
  • General Non Terrorism News
  • Other Suspicious Activity

The map refreshes automatically every thirty seconds. Included is the ability to search the database for events based on type, event, date and city. Or you can click the map and be taken to another screen that zooms in on the place of interest and includes details of the event above.

This is a very well done mash-up and includes lots of data and interesting stuff. Security buffs will love it and the rest of us will be curious or it will make us paranoid. Useful if you were travelling to get an idea of how safe or unsafe a country, town or place might be now.

The mission statement taken from the about page reads:

“This free public service website was created to give the public, law enforcement, military, and government individuals a new way to visualize, and become instantly aware of terrorism and security incidents across the world.”

I thought that it is well implemented and useful. As well as an interesting source of information and news, as it happens. Being a visual tool makes it very clear and understandable. You get an instant appreciation for what is happening and where.

The only thing I thought of was that I truly grateful to live in Australia. The worst thing that happened here today was a blade was found in a Christmas cake!

Global Incident Map Screenshot

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