Topix Expands Archives, Adds Search Options

When I want to search the Internet for news in a local area, I do one of two things:

One: Go to Google News and use their “location” syntax that allows me to narrow my search to a US state (use a postal code, for example location:ny ) or to a country (use the country name, for example location:ireland). This narrows my results to resources published in the specified state/country.

If I just want to find stories about a certain area, but not necessarily written/published within that area, I go to Topix ( ) and search their archives by city and zip code. As I noted in July, their search isn’t always perfect, but it does quickly generate a large amount of local news (with the occasional goofiness.)

Topix had the disadvantage that many news search engines do; a database limited to only recent news stories (in Topix’ case 30 days.) However Topix has expanded their search index to a years’ worth of stories (very nice!) Further, Topix is now allowing case-sensitive search so you can actually search on, say, IT.

For those of you into visual search results, check out the new histogram at the top of the search results. When you run a search you’ll get a “Loading Image” and then you’ll get a graph with blue bars showing, over the course of a year, the number of times the query for which you’re searching has showed up in Topix’ indexed news. Then if you want to see an exact date’s news stories containing your query, click on a blue bar. Very elegant. Some of the histograms are weird looking. Try search for Taylor Hicks to see one huge spike or Carolina Hurricanes to see a series of spikes.

Of course Topix covers several more categories of news besides local and area-based, for an insanely-huge list of all their topics, visit . And don’t forget, kids — every topic has an RSS feed! Look for the orange button at the bottom of the page.

Categories: News