Radar from Outside.in: online tool tells you what's going on around you in the real world

Steven "Ghost Map" Johnson's location-based software project Outside.in just launched Radar, a fascinating tool for visualizing and taking action on the stuff happening near you.
Radar, as the name would suggest, organizes the news in dynamic, concentric circles around you. First it looks for news immediately around you, within 1000 feet. Then it searches for stories in your neighborhood. Then, in your city. And if you’re out in the middle of the desert somewhere, where there are no neighborhoods or cities, it will just keep on going until it finds something, then will ping it back to you. Just like the real thing.

What I like about Radar is that it drastically reduces the work involved in finding out what’s going on around you. No more sifting through various pages to find things near you that are interesting, no more scrolling down hundreds of lines of ledes to find the one story that catches your eye. The whole landscape of local online content is laid out before you in one simple cascade of headlines, along with their corresponding topics and places. It’s the easiest way around to get the goods on your local scene.

You can even take this whole ‘what’s interesting around me’ idea one step further, by specifying which places and topics are of particular interest to you. The feature will make note of that and call special attention to stories about those topics and places as they come on to your page.

Then, once you’ve set your Radar for your specific location and the topics/places that interest you, you can create an alert, to receive instant notification of things going on around you.

Add to this the neighbor alerts feature, which allows everyone to write directly and immediately to the pages of people in their area, and Radar becomes a total readable/writeable local content solution.

Link (via Stevin Berlin Johnson)

See also: Steven Johnson launches outside.in