New York Times R&D



  1. For Kepler: In order to predict the trends for the next five years, how are different media and a data points collected?
  2. For Kepler: In order to get a wide range of data on media coverage, a lot of information needs to be stored and managed. How is the team managing the information beyond the point of using StreamTool? (How is the database being stored?)
  3. For Listening table: A friend of mine was talking about how taking notes in his university is brutal and how system like this would be great for students who need a little assistance taking notes. He suggested creating an application for taking notes for laptops. The Listening table uses a strong imbedded voice-translating system to grasp sentences of words. Does New York Times consider creating an OpenGL for systems like these?


When the class arrived at NYT, we were brought inside where the host, Noah Feehan, greeted us and gave us a tour. He first showed the class the system installed in the hallway called the Kepler. The Kepler is a system that tracks different types of media that are being read by people at the time, and stores that information as data in terms of location, time, and other categories in order to show various trends of news being accessed. The project is to help NYT determine the types of media people are most interested in, and the trend that it follows for the next three to five years.


The class then relocated into the NYT office, where Feehan showed us the program Cascade, a project that analysis world related news trends in social activities.


Feehan later showed us various other projects, such as the StreamTools. StreamTools is a program that helps filter and map out various trends and data that is being sent from the start point and helps plot the data into programs like Cascade and Kepler.


After that presentation, Feehan also showed us the Listening Table, an interactive table that records snip-bits of certain information and returns the information into a text log on a screen.


Lastly, Feehan exhibited a program that retrieves old image databases that would allow users to retrieve news articles based on the image from ads. This allows users to experience a piece of old history’s news and art, since photographs were not used in the past. We ended the meeting with a Q&A session.


Personal Reflection:

New York Times has proven to me that technology has advanced immensely. Not only is a news paper company using tracking data to figure out the trends of places all over the world, the company is also representing it beautifully on screen, making it intuitive and easy to read. As Feehan spoke more about data visualization, I thought of ways to explore more about the possibilities of what data visualization can do, and how much further it would progress. This presentation made me think if it is possible to create an application using data visualization to give data and information about the different locations we will be attending in New York. Data visualization aside, the Listening Table sparked a program/application my friend asked me to build as a side project. The program is for students who take notes in lectures, which would have voice recognition and voice-translation to help student take down important parts of notes in order to prevent missing information. The table made me think how convenient it would be if some of these tables were installed within universities, or if this table can be translated into an application or program. Due to the high demand of help in note taking from students, this project may be a potential kick-starter.

Relevant Links:


Listening Table: