(More) Triples for the World
October 30, 2008 2 Comments
I have taken a long hiatus from blogging for a number of reasons and still don’t have time to blog much, but something has just happened that has really excited me.
During this year’s International Semantic Web Conference in Karlsruhe (which I am still angry about not being able to attend due to time constraints), it was announced, that Freebase now produces RDF!
Now just in case you are wondering what Freebase is, here’s a description from their website:
Freebase, created by Metaweb Technologies, is an open database of the world’s information. It’s built by the community and for the community – free for anyone to query, contribute to, build applications on top of, or integrate into their websites.
Already, Freebase covers millions of topics in hundreds of categories. Drawing from large open data sets like Wikipedia, MusicBrainz, and the SEC archives, it contains structured information on many popular topics, including movies, music, people and locations – all reconciled and freely available via an open API. This information is supplemented by the efforts of a passionate global community of users who are working together to add structured information on everything from philosophy to European railway stations to the chemical properties of common food ingredients.
By structuring the world’s data in this manner, the Freebase community is creating a global resource that will one day allow people and machines everywhere to access information far more easily and quickly than they can today.
And all of this data, they are making available as RDF triples, which you can get via a simple service:
Welcome to the Freebase RDF service.
This service generates views of Freebase Topics following the principles of Linked Data. You can obtain an RDF representation of a Topic by sending a simple GET request to http://rdf.freebase.com/ns/thetopicid, where the “thetopicid” is a Freebase identifier with the slashes replaced by dots. For instance to see “/en/blade_runner” represented in RDF request http://rdf.freebase.com/ns/en.blade_runner
The /ns end-point will perform content negotiation, redirecting your client to the HTML view of the Topic if HTML is prefered (as it is in standard browsers) or redirecting you to http://rdf.freebase.com/rdf to obtain an RDF representation in N3, RDF/XML or Turtle depending on the preferences expressed in your clients HTTP Accept header.
This service will display content in Firefox if you use the Tabulator extension.
If you have questions of comments about the service please join the Freebase developer mailing list.
So now there’s DBPedia and Freebase. More triples for the world, more data, more opportunity to move ahead. In chemistry, it’s sometimes so difficult to convince people of the value of open and linked data. This sort of stuff makes me feel that we are making progress. Slowly, but inexorably. And that is exciting.