In Internet-speak, a "mashup" is a web application that integrates two or more kinds of information into a new, useful resource. Mashups often use interactive maps to pinpoint various content (data, text, images, even videos) associated with a specific location.
Newspapers have started to "geocode" their stories to help readers browse the news closest to their homes. The Bee, for example, maps articles refering to places in the region. You can zoom in for a close look at your neighborhood and you can set the time period from a minimum of one week to a maximum of six months. (CrimeMapper is another ongoing Bee service that geocodes reported crimes in the region.)
Washington Post's Time-Space takes the idea a step further by including a time scale in their interactive world map of news, photos, commentary and video. As you slide the time gizmo back and forth, the distribution of news content in various countries changes day-by-day, hour-by-hour. The site includes AP reports as well as Post articles and photos.
In this Internet age, the definition of "news" is being stretched to include types of information not produced by professional journalists. Things like blog entries, press releases, crime logs, home sales and foreclosures, restaurant inspections and reviews, building permits, amateur photos and videos, etc. EveryBlock attempts to aggregate and geocode a variety content for "hyperlocal" browsing down to the neighborhood level. The web site thinks of itself as a "news feed" that can be viewed in an interactive map. EveryBlock currently covers 11 American cities -- the closest being San Francisco. You can search the content by address, ZIP or name of neighborhood.
Some of the coolest examples of map-mashups were developed by entrepreneur Dave Troy. Troy has married the live output of Twitter (short text postings), Flickr (photos) and YouTube (videos) with maps that continously update. The resulting sites -- Twittervision, Flickrvision and Spinvision -- are dynamic maps that display the latest tweets, photos and videos produced anywhere in the world. And because of their immediacy, these three sites are sometimes quicker to report breaking news than professional media. Last year's Chinese earthquake, for example, was known to Twittervision watchers before anyone else outside the quake zone.