Over the last week two timeline services have been announced which generate graphical timeline displays for historical and current news.
The first was last week’s announcement of a new “Timeline of articles" feature for Google News which provides a chronological view of the threaded chain of events that generate a story as it develops. This builds on the Google News "all news articles" functionality which lets you easily see multiple perspectives on a given event. The announcement post describes the feature and contains examples.
Yesterday came the Google Labs announcement of Google News Timeline. This experimental web application organizes search results from multiple sources on a graphical timeline. The choice of sources is wide ranging and includes headline news, archival newspapers and magazines, blogs, books, photos/images, and YouTube videos. The resulting graphical timeline scale is zoomable to days, weeks, months, years, or decades. The interface also allows you to narrow results to a specific date, a general date (e.g. 1952, Apr 1955), or relative date (e.g. today, this week, last month). The announcement post describes the Google News Timeline application and provides examples.