Yourstreet, a US website, has developed an interesting way of displaying local news content by combining it with Google Maps.

The site was initially launched as a real estate based community earlier this year but had a rethink and became a local news / social networking site.

It uses an algorithm to pick up references to locations in news stories and links them to postcodes and place names entered by users, and pulls together news stories from local newspapers and blogs.

These news stories are then pinpointed using Google Maps so that users can browse in their area for stories of interest.

The site also has a good social element – users can create profiles for themselves, and then comment on local news stories, or recommend them to other users. It also provides RSS feeds.

There’s little sign of the site coming to the UK, but mash-ups of maps and news content are already on offer on this side of the Atlantic. Google Maps was used recently by BBC Berkshire, for example, to enhance its coverage of the recent floods in the UK.

Several interesting experiments are also taking place in the much-talked-about area of hyper-local news. Most recently, Trinity Mirror started displaying local news by postcode when it relaunched its GazetteLive site in the North East.

Earlier this month, the BBC also announced it was scrapping a planned hyper-local TV news service but said it was aiming to launch a range of online services focusing on local content.

Related stories:

Google’s local search battle cry

Related research:

Search Engine Marketing: Buyer’s Guide 2007