The following is republished from ES Online Blog, a data journalist that covers new media.  

The original post can be found here.

Stephen Larson, founder and CEO of, talked about their online tools to be useful for journalists.

Could you explain your current position and activities briefly?

There is a lot of information on the web and there's a lot of talk about using this so-called "Big Data" to improve journalism. That is exactly what we are trying to do with Points Mentioned. It's a tool for newspapers to automatically create interactive, explanatory content from their own big data.

Our hometown partner, the Finger Lakes Times, has published a wonderful piece on Points Mentioned.  They nicely describe how our maps work to power News Bayou and then dive into the story behind the company.  Check it out here:

We are thrilled to announce the latest addition to the Points Mentioned network: The Finger Lakes Times.  The iconic daily, located in Geneva, NY, has added Points Mentioned maps to all their stories. See one of the maps in action here.

Yesterday, IBM opened its NYC office for developing Watson, the revolutionary software that uses the most advanced algorithms in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to beat the two best players in the history of Jeopardy.

But Watson is capable of much more.  As described in the video above, Watson was build on a Q&A engine that can be applied toward countless tasks; i.e. playing a game, diagnosis a disorder, connecting clues in a cold case, really just serving as an advisor in literally any human cognitive task.

We've been working hard on the upcoming release of the new Points Mentioned.The new natural language processing (NLP) engine will not only tag locations mentioned in news articles, it will also identify and categorize proper names; i.e. the Who, What, Where, and When of every story.  This project is all about reshaping the presentation of information. We are distilling down thousands of articles to their essential components and connecting that information in useful ways.  Think about it, currently when you're reading a news article and come across the name of someone you're interested in learning more about what do you do?

Last night I found myself in midtown and decided to stop into a networking event for NYC Entrepreneurs.

I had the opportunity to practice my pitch for the new Points Mentioned NLP, see the video here

Next stop, Shark Tank!! has established itself as a news source that combines the timeliness of twitter, with the dependability of a full time editorial news staff.  The company recently released an iPhone app with proximity alerts, which brings the geographic dimension of the news more to the forefront.

When I read about this app in Fast Company, I felt like I was reading a description of News Bayou.