Fwix, a news site that offers a stream of hyperlocal, realtime news by location, is launching a new portal today that aims to give anyone a real time view of what’s happening in a location. You can access the new search portal here.
Fwix Local Trend Search allows users to search for anything that is happening at any geo-point. The search feature rounds up news, events, government data, business reviews, check-ins from Foursquare or Gowalla and more on a map of a given area. You can expand the sphere of location to show coverage from a greater area or a more localized location. For example, you could see all of the hyperlocal news from the city of San Francisco, but can then pinpoint the Mission neighborhood and see all of the most recent news relating to that given area.
One question I had for Fwix’s CEO and founder Darian Shirazi was how the site determine an article’s “location.” Dhirazi tells me that Fwix’s proprietary technology analyzes and indexes nearly 40 million pieces of content to determine and scan for any reference to location within the text of a document. So if a restaurant review refers to an establishment in the Financial District of San Francisco, the content will be geolocated to that area. The site will also serve hyperlocal, targeted ads on top of search results.
Of course, with the introduction of a news search portal, Fwix now competes with Google News. But Shirazi thinks there can be mutiple players in this space, especially considering Fwix’s emphasis on hyperlocal news. And Fwiz already has a number of well-known media partners on board to integrate the technology, says Shirazi (the partners will be announced in a few months). Fwix just inked a deal with The New York Times Company to deliver local and hyperlocal content across the publisher’s properties.
Fwix, which also recently launched an iPad app, is getting into the geolocation game, adding geo-tagged status updates (from Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, and Brightkite), geo-photos (from Flickr, yfrog, Smugmug, and Twitpic), local events (from Eventbrite, Eventful, Upcoming, and Zvents), nearby reviews and restaurants (from Yelp and Citysearch), concerts (Songkick), local crime and government data, weather, listings (Oodle, Trulia), and deals from local merchants (Groupon, Town Hog, and Living Social) to its feeds. Clearly, Fwix wants to be a destination that you go to not only for news, but for all contextual information around a given locality. The new search portal makes it much easier for consumers to sort through this flux of information.
Fwix organizes the world’s information by location. Fwix is the largest local content curator and a local data platform for developers and media publishers. By automatically indexing the Web by location, Fwix is currently operating in 7 countries, 61,000 cities, and defined down to 87,000 neighborhoods in the US alone. Founded in October 2008, Fwix is headquartered in San Francisco and is backed by BlueRun Ventures.