YourStreet is relaunching this week as a local news aggregator and mapping service. It's simple but really well executed; getting to review nice, smart little apps like this one is a big part of what I like about my job here.
The site originally launched this spring as a neighborhood-based social networking site but this news service probably has a lot more potential. The company was founded by an impressive group of executives with backgrounds at CNET, Sony Music Connect and elsewhere. That's going to go a long way in an otherwise crowded local news search market.
There's no shortage of local news sites, but the big differentiators here are two: the discovery process and the quality of the site's execution.
YourStreet uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the geographic location of news stories, down to the specific venue an event occurred. That's impressive and so far it looks pretty accurate. When I looked the site said it had added 5,683 stories in the last 24 hours and there's an RSS feed available for any location you select.
There are a number of ways to interact with the site's search results; you can recommend a particular story, start a conversation about it or flag it as incorrectly located. You can add a story manually and place it on the map or request that your own local blog be added to the index. Account creation and login are as easy as they could be short of OpenID creation.
The new YourStreet is a simple web application on its face but it's something I can imagine many people coming back to again and again.