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Archives: July 2007

Google Street View, coming to a city near you?

Google Maps Street View offers 360° panoramic street-level views of just a few American cities but that may change soon. A fleet of Chevy Cobalts mounted with camera-ready vertical extensions were photographed recently in the parking lot of Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. The outfitted Cobalts, in addition to Google-owned VW Beetles and vans, have been spotted in Boise, Idaho; Chicago; Whitemarsh, Maryland; Southern California; Evanston, Illinois; and Redwood City, California. If Google is indeed documenting these cities, they will join Denver, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Miami and New York in the Street View network.

There is no official word from Google on whether these cities are actually next in line for the Street View treatment or when Street View become an embeddable application.

(Photo source: Gizmodo)

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Why 10,000 Words?

10,000 Words was created as a resource for journalists and web and technology enthusiasts to learn the tools that are shaping digital journalism. The site offers examples, resources, and tutorials of both new and established technologies used to enhance journalism.

The name comes from the phrase “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” If this is so then a multimedia or interactive story is worth 10,000 words (or more).

Subscribe to the 10,000 Words RSS feed and follow the 10,000 Words Twitter feed to make sure you never miss a post.

10,000 Words is authored by Mark S. Luckie, a digital journalist who combines his love for journalism with his passion for technology. Mark is also the author of The Digital Journalist’s Handbook, a unique guide to the tools necessary to thrive in today’s digital newsroom. Mark has produced multimedia and interactive stories for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The Contra Costa Times, and is a former crime and justice reporter for The Daytona Beach News-Journal. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Journalism and Bethune-Cookman College.

For more on Mark, visit or email him at

Create embeddable timelines with xtimeline

A timeline is a great way to show the progress of an ongoing news story or a complex historical review. xtimeline lets users create embeddable, linkable timelines that can include text, links and images. Some great examples include Oprah’s rise to fame and power, History of the AIDS Epidemic and the Pregnancy Timeline.

Also on 10,000 Words:

7 Eye-popping interactive timelines (and 3 ways to create one)

Mobile phones create the need for mobile news

Mobile news has been in its developing stages for a while, but as phone plans get cheaper, cell phones get fancier and the iPhone becomes popular the demand for news to go is steadily increasing. Most PDAs and iPhones are capable of viewing the internet as it would appear on a computer screen. However, most news sites are not compatible with phones with smaller screens.

Ideally, there should be one site for regular viewers and another, more scaled-down version for mobile phone users (e.g. and Mobile news for the average cell phone means less text, little to no images, more links and an easy to use navigation system. Think Vitamin offers detailed tips on making your site more mobile friendly. In addition, xFruits offers, among other services, an RSS to mobile feed that scales down news to its most basic format.

Wikipedia a source? (don't laugh)

Mention the word Wikipedia around most newsrooms, and you’re likely to get a look of disgust and a few rolled eyes. While the collaborative encyclopedia should not be the final destination or the end all and be all of information it does have its uses as a starting point for sources.

From Wikipedia’s entry on itself:

Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free content encyclopedia project, operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization. As of July 25, 2007, Wikipedia has approximately 7.9 million articles in 253 languages, 1.91 million of which are in the English edition. This makes it the world’s largest, most extensive, and fastest growing encyclopedia ever compiled. It has been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world and the vast majority of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet. Steadily rising in popularity since its inception, it currently ranks among the top ten most-visited websites worldwide.

Wikipedia’s users are often smart and lightning fast. The entry on Anna Nicole Smith announced her death hours before many news sites did. The Hurricane Katrina entry lists 119 sources (thanks Brady). The site also includes specialized entries not seen in any regular encyclopedia, including my favorites Capoeira in popular culture, songs about California and the now non-existent “Competing films with similar plots” (it was removed because it was biased and unverifiable).

Despite its strengths, Wikipedia does have its very well-known weaknesses. Anyone is allowed to edit the entries, though many are corrected eventually by millions of users with a keen eye. A red flag should be any entry with a shaded box with the warning “This article does not cite any references or sources.” These are more likely to appear in less popular, theoretical or highly debated entries.