Freebase: An Open, Writable Database of the World’s Information

author: John Giannandrea, Metaweb Technologies Inc.
published: Nov. 24, 2008,   recorded: October 2008,   views: 16422


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Freebase is an open database of the world’s information, built by a global community and free for anyone to query, contribute to, and build applications on. Drawing from large open data sets like Wikipedia, MusicBrainz, GNIS, EDGAR etc., Freebase is curated by a passionate community of users and contains structured information on millions of topics such as people, places, music, film, food, science, historical events, and more.

Part of what makes this open database unique is that it spans domains, but requires that a particular topic exist only once in Freebase. Thus freebase is an identity database with a user contributed schema which spans multiple domains. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger may appear in a movie database as an actor, a political database as a governor, and in a bodybuilder database as Mr. Universe. In Freebase, however, there is only one topic for Arnold Schwarzenegger that brings all these facets together. The unified topic is a single reconciled identity, which makes it easier to find and contribute information about the linked world we live in.

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