Freebase stores millions of entities and assertions about nearly every topic one can ponder (thanks are owed to their seed dataset – Wikipedia – and their amazing community). The amount of information that Freebase stores is incredible, and is a testament to what can be accomplished with the help of a dedicated community and a little (or a lot) of clever software engineering.
Over the years I've noticed that the importance of algorithms and data tends to shift back and forth, depending on which at the time is hardest to duplicate (often from a business perspective). This effect seems to be caused by the availability or demand of one side increasing or decreasing, shifting the balance of importance to the other. At one point the world of software was dominated by the proprietary. The organization with the best software (backend, algorithms, etc) was the dominant entity and data (from say, a Web 2.0 perspective) was generally not the focus. This may have partly been the responsibility of a mindset formed during an era with very little storage space and before mass user activity on the Web.
Now that Freebase is available as Linked Data a big question that comes to mind is whether these two major projects will move to assimilate one another. DBpedia and Freebase – two endeavors primarily focused on curating unstructured and semi-structured data about everything and releasing it back into the wild (with structure) – get the bulk of their information from Wikipedia, so the amount of topical overlap is assumed to be extremely high. DBpedia gains new information when it extracts data from the latest Wikipedia dump, whereas Freebase, in addition to Wikipedia extractions, gains new information through its userbase of editors.
Published 8 years ago by James Simmons
At ISWC2008 Freebase released its new RDF service for generating RDF representations of Freebase topics, allowing Freebase to be used as Linked Data! To obtain the RDF data for a topic send a GET request to http://rdf.freebase.com/rdf/some.topic.id where "some.topic.id" is replaced by the desired topic identifier (slashes in the identifier must be replaced by dots). Topic data can be represented as N3, RDF/XML or Turtle depending on the preferences expressed in your client's HTTP Accept header. Try it out with the Freebase topic Semantic Web.
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