Vancouver Freebase Meetup Report
Freebase is an open database of the world’s information. "Open" means it's built by the community, for the community — anyone can contribute information, create collections of information to share with others, or build applications that use our API. It also means that the database is freely, openly licensed.
The utility of having a large body of knowledge available through an API is cool, but the potential for innovation through this open approach is breathtaking. There were some intriguing ideas discussed at the table and some funny stories around schemas people have created.
For those of you hitting DrupalCon, Boris Mann is apparently talking about Freebase, or at least mentioning it, in his Drupalcon session, Practical Semantic Web and Why You Should Care (or so Kirrily thought). It certainly seems like a good fit with some of the initiatives happening in the Drupal community.
If you're curious for a taste of what happened at the meetup check out my video piece (below), and for added authenticity pour a glass of your favourite beverage. You'll hear about some things people are doing with Freebase, the Freebase Community Coordinator, Kirrily Robert, answers some questions, and enthusiasts Jim Pick and Scott Blomquist describe their projects.
I'm not in a position to judge whether or not Freebase is "best in class", but if you're interested in the semantic web, collaborative data collection or mash-ups, it seems worth checking out. The website is a bit obtuse but the underlying ideas and technology are very cool.
Vancouver Freebase Meetup
The video can also be viewed directly at Vancouver Freebase Meetup - February 2009 at blip.tv
|00:29||Introductions around the table
Mélanie Courtot, mcourtot.googlepages.com/home
Benjamin Good, i9606.blogspot.com
James Taylor, www.bioventurist.com
Scott Blomquist, vidoop.com / apiguy.com
Dorian Taylor, doriantaylor.com
Jim Pick, jimpick.com
Kirrily Robert, Freebase Profile
|04:33||Kirrily Robert, Community Coordinator, talks about Freebase|
|12:11||Scott Blomquist on the Freebase browser search extension he built in Acre|
|13:08||Jim Pick on the Vancouver Base Project|
Jim Pick's Vancouver Project
And if you have any experiences of your own with Freebase, please share!