Simon Willison’s Weblog


12 items tagged “freebase”


Using Freebase Gridworks to Create Linked Data. A very handy tutorial from’s Jeni Tennison.

# 23rd August 2010, 8:11 pm / data, datagovuk, freebase, gridworks, recovered, jenitennison

WildlifeNearYou talk at £5 app, and being Wired (not Tired)

Two quick updates about WildlifeNearYou. First up, I gave a talk about the site at £5 app, my favourite Brighton evening event which celebrates side projects and the joy of Making Stuff. I talked about the site’s genesis on a fort, crowdsourcing photo ratings, how we use Freebase and DBpedia and how integrating with Flickr’s machine tags gave us a powerful location API for free. Here’s the video of the talk, courtesy of Ian Oszvald:

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Preview: Freebase Gridworks (via) If my experience with government datasets has taught me anything, it’s that most datasets are collected by human beings (probably using Excel) and human beings are inconsistent. The first step in any data related project inevitably involves cleaning up the data. The Freebase team must run up against this all the time, and it looks like they’re tackling the problem head-on. Freebase Gridworks is just a screencast preview at the moment but an open source release is promised “within a month”—and the tool looks absolutely fantastic. DabbleDB-style data refactoring of spreadsheet data, running on your desktop but with the UI served in a browser. Full undo, a JavaScript-based expression language, powerful faceting and the ability to “reconcile” data against Freebase types (matching up country names, for example). I can’t wait to get my hands on this.

# 27th March 2010, 6:43 pm / cleanup, dabbledb, data, freebase, gridworks, javascript, opendata


Hack Day tools for non-developers

We’re about to run our second internal hack day at the Guardian. The first was an enormous amount of fun and the second one looks set to be even more productive.

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Freebase Sets (via) Give it some topics and it will tell you what they have in common and show further topics matching the same rules. Kind of like the old Google Labs sets tool but this one shows its workings.

# 13th December 2008, 9:26 am / freebase, freebasesets, sets

Introducing Acre. I’m losing track of all the server-side JavaScript hosted web application platforms now. Here’s the Freebase contribution to the genre, complete with IDE, templating language and strong integration with Freebase itself.

# 7th November 2008, 11:23 pm / acre, freebase, javascript, serversidejavascript

Freebase Hack Day. I’m finding Freebase increasingly interesting at the moment, and their public hack day on the 8th November in San Francisco looks like it could be a lot of fun. They’ll be previewing Acre, a new server-side JavaScript application platform targeted at building Freebase powered applications. Hit “view source” at the bottom of the hack day site to see what an Acre app looks like.

# 24th October 2008, 12:06 am / acre, events, freebase, hackday, javascript, san-francisco

The only down side is everyone I’ve talked to at Freebase seems pretty solid on this being their proprietary secret sauce, because a good, fast scalable open source tuple store might actually jump start a real semantic (small-S) web after all these years.

Kellan Elliott-McCrea

# 29th September 2008, 3:29 pm / freebase, graphd, kellan-elliott-mccrea, opensource, proprietary, semanticweb

A Brief Tour of Graphd. The secret sauce behind Freebase—a custom written graph server that models everything as a typed, versioned relationship and can churn through over 3,000 simple queries a second on a single AMD64 core.

# 29th September 2008, 11:32 am / databases, freebase, grahd, graphserver

freebase-suggest (via) A jQuery plugin that performs auto-completion against the Freebase JSONP API, and allows the results to be limited to specific categories or subsets.

# 24th September 2008, 11:58 pm / autocomplete, freebase, freebasesuggest, javascript, jquery, jsonp, metadata


Freebase developer documentation. The JSON API and particularly the query language are fascinating.

# 3rd September 2007, 2:38 am / api, freebase, json

Freebase. Out of closed beta, although you still need an invite code to contribute. I hope they drop the JavaScript requirement for viewing content on the site.

# 3rd September 2007, 2:35 am / freebase, inaccessible, javascript