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Buzztracker Press Appearances

Internet art project creates buzz over world news

The world got a little smaller this month as Chin Music Press Inc. of Seattle, WA, launched buzztracker, an Internet art project that tracks world news. The interactive piece, launched on April 12 at by Craig Mod and Chin Music Press, has sparked intense interest across the globe.

The free website is a first of its kind to show how interconnected our world is by visualizing relationships among locations mentioned in the news on an interactive map. It feeds a widespread hunger for more global news and less provincialism: Simply click on a location and you'll see a list of stories from news media across the globe.

The world responded in a hurry to buzztracker. In the first two days, the site received 75,000 visitors. In the first week, it received more than 1 million hits. On April 12, it was one of the most linked-to sites on the Internet. And in two weeks, the search term "buzztracker" went from receiving 700 hits through Google searches to receiving 45,000 hits.

Buzztracker is quickly becoming a global buzzword. Websites and blogs have been writing about buzztracker in Arabic, English, Hungarian, Japanese, Spanish, German and Dutch in the last two weeks.

Buzztracker denotes hot spots in the news through red circles and accents the connections between places with black lines. The more a location appears in the news, the larger the circle marking its position. The stronger the connection between that location and another, the darker the line joining them. The end result is a first of its kind. Buzztracker's highly detailed maps representing the ebb and flow of world events give a unique view -- as if from a satellite -- of how media around the world focus and shift their lens. How quickly does news coverage move from one event to another? Buzztracker's simple interface allows you to flip between daily images, seeing precisely how long events linger in our collective consciousness.

Craig Mod (, art director for Chin Music Press, had been working on buzztracker in different forms since his days as a student at the University of Pennsylvania in the winter of 2002. "There are a lot of beautiful but invisible connections going on in large masses of data," Mod said. "Mining and exploring world news is one of the most interesting and pertinent." Mod finished the project at his home studio in Tokyo, Japan, after graduating from Penn's Digital Media Design program with a specialized fine arts and computer science degree in 2003. has archived files dating back to January 1, 2004. The site is updated daily. The sample image (page 2) included here shows Beijing, Tokyo and Jakarta forming a triangle on April 22, 2005. On that day Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi apologized to Asian nations for Japanese acts of aggression in World War II. The apology was meant to defuse tensions with Beijing and was made at the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta.

Buzztracker currently tracks thousands of English-language news sources. The website is a free service provided by Chin Music Press to inspire viewers to see how connected we all are and invoke queries into the subtle underlying meanings of these connections. Chin Music Press is dedicated to making entertaining and beautiful books and media projects. Its first book, Kuhaku & Other Accounts from Japan, was released in North America in spring 2005 and is available via the company's website ( The book is distributed to the trade by Consortium Book Sales & Distribution of St. Paul, MN.

April 22nd, 2005


Tokyo, Beijing, Jakarta: World Leader Summit
Tokyo, Beijing: Demonstrations over wartime atrocities
Vatican/Rome: The lingering coverage of the election of Pope Benedict XVI
Iraq: US contractor kidnapped
Mecca: Saudi forces and militants clash
Miami: Shoe bomb conspirator sentenced to 13 years

TOP 20 LOCATIONS, APRIL 22nd, 2005

Vatican - 12%
Baghdad - 10%
Jakarta - 07%
Tokyo - 06%
Washington - 05%
Gaza - 05%
Beijing - 04%
Bandung - 04%
Rome - 03%
Mecca - 03%
Madrid - 02%
Quito - 02%
Khartoum - 02%
New York - 01%
Paris - 01%
Pyongyang - 01%
Moscow - 01%
Toronto - 01%
Beirut - 01%
Miami - 01%

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April 27th, 2005


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