"Google News Timeline is a web application from Google Labs that organizes information chronologically. It allows users to view news and other data sources on a zoomable, graphical timeline". There are a number of data sources to choose from including recent and historical news, newspapers and magazines, blog posts, Twitter status updates and more.
This could serve as a great research tool, allowing you to find specific information from specific sources and view it in a way that is easy to understand. I think it would be particularly useful for those studying history who want to get an understanding of events over a period of time.