Acre Family Chart

23:51 Tue 11 Nov 2008. Updated: 19:51 23 Jun 2013
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Freebase recently got a hosted development environment, Acre, and I’ve been playing with it. It makes it quite easy to develop applications using Freebase data (which is the point), and I’m eager to write some of those applications myself.

As a test case, and an exploration of how views tailored to specific Freebase types can expose the richness of the data in ways that the web client I work on usually can’t, I put together a basic family tree visualizer. It shows direct relatives of whoever you focus on, that is their parents, siblings, children, and spouses. It also shows grandparents, just to make it a little more interesting.

Its operation is simple: find a person using the FreebaseSuggest box in the upper left, and click on any person to load a page with them at the center. Clicking on the person in the center, or on the [e] links, brings you to that person in Freebase for editing.

The UI needs quite a lot of work, as it looks fairly awful. I might be able to get some help with that this week, and there are certainly a lot of refinements to be made. But as my first work with Acre, I’m happy with it.

While it does show off some of the data in Freebase, it may actually be more useful in showing what data we don’t have in there yet. There are a lot of historical figures whose parentage is widely known but which Freebase doesn’t yet know. Ideally you’d be able to add that kind of thing directly from the app, without having to go to Freebase.com, but that functionality is quite far away…

If you’re curious about building apps, try out the app editor; the source code for my family chart is available, as is code for other Acre applications.

Some potentially interesting other family charts:

(The political/royalist bias here is sadly necessary since those appear to be the richest pockets of data…)

2 Responses to “Acre Family Chart”

  1. jamie Says:

    Very nice! More confirmation on the royalty bias: Henry VIII has a nice view too.

  2. Tadhg Says:

    Indeed–as does Nicholas II: http://f-tree.tadhg.user.dev.freebaseapps.com/index?id=/en/nicholas_ii_of_russia

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