As a POC for the New York Times, we worked together with Q42 and ProQuest to deliver a ground-breaking iPad application to visualize all 60,000 newspaper covers of the NYT since 1851.
We created a tiling engine to create Google Maps style multilevel tiles to allow the user to zoom in on all covers.
We used a Solr index to allow the user to search in all newspapers, and get an overview of the hits using a heatmap over the entire visualization, allowing for unique insights in temporal patterns of certain queries.
We presented on this project at the Lucene Revolution conference 2011 in San Francisco. Slides from that presentation can be found here.