Shuffling servers

You may have noticed how unreliable newsmap has been in the last weeks. My deepest apologies for the quite prolonged this has been going on for. Traffic in the last months kept on going up and the servers where newsmap is hosted at have been receiving quite a big hit.

I'm working closely with the amazing support engineers from to get this solved as soon as possible. During the next few hours I'll be shuffling database servers, moving on to a faster, higher memory and more reliable cluster.

If this doesn't solve all our problems, then be sure that we will keep on working hard do get this fixed soon!

Thank you all for your continued support and patience.

update 12:30 PST
We are back up and running.
Now running status tests, but please let me know if you have any issues.

Some Newsmap stats

With so much to do lately, I hadn't had a chance to take a peek into what where the current numbers for user activity within newsmap.
The good news is, traffic is up! Last month we had just a little over half a million visitors, and in average each visitor clicked at least 2.2 times on each news article - That's a lot of clicks. Registered users are almost reaching 15k, and a good 31% of them keeps on returning.

Those are all pretty impressive numbers, considering that I do almost roughly no marketing for this tool at all.

The bad news is, I'm giving my hosting company a really tough job, and I'll have to start thinking about improving server capacity sometime very soon.

So far, they've been trully amazing with their support, so if you are one of those people out there who is still trying to find an excellent quality hosting provider, do not hesitate to head over here and give their trial accounts a try:

Newsmap Brasil

Under popular demand, we just added Brasil into newsmap. In the default logged out view, you will now find a new tab on top. Of course that's always a bit messy, so if you are one of the snappy ones that uses the custom view to trim down the number of tabs up there, you will need to head to your custom settings to turn it on. To do that, just head to your settings panel, and under News Sources > Google News, make sure to check Brasil.

The BBC News Effect

Still fighting here the demons of the BBC. Server is up, but we still got some work to do to handle the workload. As far as I can remember this the first time Newsmap has been on a TV Network and the Network effect of the TV show is definitively more than interesting to see. Web traffic is normally very standard, you can clearly see when a particular website starts sending traffic in when taking a look at the referrer url. However, when it comes to TV it's pretty bizarre. Hordes of users suddenly show up out of nowhere, no referrers whatsoever. After taking a close look into the stats, you can clearly see traffic spikes every time BBC's "Click" shows up on TV. Interesting indeed.
Talking about stats, Newsmap normally gets hit by about 10,000 visitors a day, summing around 300,000 visitors in a month. Not a bad number, but adding to that the BBC News effect, we just saw an increase past the 16.000 users yesterday, which means an increase of about 60% in traffic. Not bad at all.
Well, to all those of you coming in from the TV network, welcome! I hope you enjoy your stay, and don't forget; if you have any suggestions, ideas, bug reports; or just want to drop by and say hi, do not hesitate to leave your comment here or ping us at

BBC News on Newsmap, server meltdown.

Just woke up this morning to realize that Newsmap was down. Upon investigating it looks as if the DB has crashed because of a sudden traffic surge. Not sure yet where that is coming from as referrers are not very clear, but it appears that the BBC mentioned Newsmap last night within a section of their "Webscape" show.

I'm working on getting everything back up, in the meantime, please make sure to fullfill your daily news intake needs over at

Opening up user registration

I just sent up a new version of Newsmap with a whole bunch of updates. The first thing you will immediately notice is that there's now an option to create a Newsmap account.

Although registration right now will only allow you to customize Newsmap esthetically, soon you will be able to add your own custom feeds so you can create your own, custom, map of the news.

Remember this is all super beta, and I expect it to be pretty fragile. If you find anything weird, things breaking, if you have problems or suggestions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line at

I'm always listening ;)


- Marcos

Some of the changes in this update:

* User registration
* Fonts, colors, top page customization once you login.
* Auto update

plust a ton of bug fixes and performance improvements.

Newsmap 2.0

Long time overdue, here comes newsmap 2.0

The new url is at
Still working on a couple of bugs and really trying to push some features I still think as essential.



New in 2.0 is:

  • rectangularized treemap layout: To accommodate text properly, cells are as rectangular as possible, this there's more room for headlines without chopping them off in several lines.
  • search as you type: try the new search on the top right, see how newsmap updates.
  • deep linking: you can now deep link to any state of the app. just try updating your view, and notice how the url changes. You can grab and share that url with anyone.
More to come:
  • custom tabs: save your search query as a new tab
  • custom feeds: add your own RSS feeds to the map
  • stats: learn more about your news and how you consume them!
And much, much more!