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Freebase

Open Source Data Repository


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Published 03/30/2011 and rated Ratingstars4 4 out of 5 stars
by AppAppeal Editor
What can you use the app for?

Freebase is an open repository of structured data that includes almost 20 million entities. The website identifies an entity as a person, place or thing. These are tied together using graphs generated by Freebase. The user can find entities through Freebase’s ID system, which stores IDs using the MQL key escaping scheme. Users can also query Freebase using MQL or access the API or the Freebase hosted development platform to build their own applications. Users can also sign up for the Freebase mailing list and join the large user community that is constantly working to improve Freebase. The community consists of a variety of users, from data curators and application developers to data contributors and schema builders.

Freebase screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Freebase.com is managed by many people through the contributions and efforts of the user community. Freebase was acquired by Google on July 16th, 2010.

What are the differences to other apps?

Freebase is a large scale project that is constantly improving. The website is an open repository that uses entities rather than keywords. An entity is essentially a connection to all variations of a single person, place or thing. This approach eliminates the frustration and confusion that comes with spelling variations and abbreviations that can sometimes separate content and information related to the same subject.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

The Freebase website looks and feels just like the standard Wiki. Users can find a list of links to help them get started on the homepage. These include links to the Freebase blog, mailing list, data games, the bug submission form, how to guides and informational entries on Freebase. Users can also find the developer pages which include access to the Freebase API.

How does the registration process work?

Visitors can explore Freebase as soon as they arrive. The website offers a log in if the user would like to join the community. A small link in the upper right hand corner of the page reads “create account.” This takes the user to the log in form. The right side of the form presents Google and Yahoo log in options. Just below those is another small blue “Sign up now” link. Clicking it will take the user to the registration form. The form requires a username, password, email address and successful Captcha code entry. The bottom of the form advises the user that by submitting their information, they are automatically agreeing to the Freebase terms of service and privacy policy.

What does it cost to use the application?

Anyone can use Freebase for free. There are no charges or subscription fees. The application is a community effort through a non profit organization, so this is to be expected. Users can create an account and begin using Freebase at no cost. The API is also available to developers who want to make applications that utilize Freebase. Although no monetary payment is required, users can volunteer their time, effort and knowledge to the project by being active in the community and assisting with the site’s content.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Freebase is a great tool for anyone who has an interest in data. The website helps users draw relationships between entities, which can be used for practical purposes or simply for entertainment or personal curiosity. Developers can also use Freebase to create unique web applications. Those with experience in development, data curators and others may enjoy the opportunity to volunteer their skills and time to become an active member and supporter of Freebase.

  • Search for entity IDs
  • Chat with the Freebase community on IRC
  • Access the Freebase API to build web applications
  • Become an active participant in the project
  • Play data games


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