More Versatile Freebase Views

23:28 Mon 01 Dec 2008. Updated: 17:08 28 Jan 2009
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I’ve been eagerly awaiting the latest upgrade to freebase.com (which I work on), because it makes much more interesting saved views possible with our UI. Previously, all kinds of interesting queries were possible using our query language, MQL, but to present their output you’d effectively need to write your own application. Now you can make queries using the UI and then have them displayed intelligently on Freebase.

Some time ago I created a Film adaptations of Hamlet view, and now I can also have a Film Adaptations of Shakespeare Works view. There aren’t that many in that list, so I suspect that a lot of films are missing—if you spot some, you can add them fairly easily.

I created a view of Books by Nobel Literature Prize Winners, which is of interest to me, and which I’m not sure would be too easy to find elsewhere. Again, it might be incomplete… but adding data is easy.

I was going to add some other literary award-based views, but I think I need to add a bunch of data for those awards first; while tinkering with one of those, I discovered (and corrected) the fact that Freebase considered Samuel Beckett to be French but not Irish…

Finally, I created Games Using an id Tech Engine, for all the Doom and Quake aficionados out there.

The major advantage of these lists, of course, is that they don’t have to be explicitly maintained—as soon as a new author is marked as having won the Nobel Prize for Literature, all of their works in the system will show up in the Books by Nobel Literature Prize Winners. As soon as a new film is marked as an adaptation of Hamlet, it will show up in both the Film adaptations of Hamlet and Film Adaptations of Shakespeare Works views, without my having to do anything.

I’m sure there are many more interesting and/or complicated views out there, and I’m pretty happy to be able to ones like those I just listed.

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