Posts concerning freebase

Google Refine 2.0

21:04 11 Nov 2010

This post is actually aimed more at my less technical readers than my programmer friends.

Google Refine, formerly Freebase Gridworks, is a data cleanup and transformation tool. These days, though, it seems as if everyone has to work with messy data. Lists of addresses, employment rosters, film collections, sports stats, and/or any amount of public material. Such data is rarely clean, and that’s precisely what makes a tool like Google Refine so useful.

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More Versatile Freebase Views

23:28 01 Dec 2008. Updated: 17:08 28 Jan 2009

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.

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Book List

23:56 24 Nov 2008. Updated: 17:12 28 Jan 2009

I haven’t got any graphs, despite what I said last time. I had some, but messed them up while experimenting with Flot, and in any case they weren’t quite what I wanted. However, I did solve some of the other issues I was having with my book-tracking application, and am relatively happy with the current view.

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Fun with Books and Data Models

23:56 16 Nov 2008. Updated: 17:16 28 Jan 2009

Fun might be the wrong word.

(Also, this is long. Condensed: I’ve been using Freebase to store my reading data, I wrote an Acre app to provide a custom view, and I discovered that my data model has some shortcomings.)

I’ve been playing with Acre some more, specifically on a long-term project of mine: to store data about the books I read in some system and then create views about my reading habits. Yes, compulsive list-making combined with programming/data geekery.

Anyway, I could have used a lot of other systems, such as Delicious Library or LibraryThing or Books, to store this information, but none of them seemed to have quite what I want (and most of them are proprietary). I could have written my own, and planned to, but kept tweaking with the data model and generally wasn’t sure how I wanted to deal with it.

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Acre Family Chart

23:51 11 Nov 2008. Updated: 19:51 23 Jun 2013

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.

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Freebase: Films Adapted from Books in the Last Decade

21:37 19 Aug 2008. Updated: 17:56 28 Jan 2009

I’m usually pleased when I stumble across questions that it seems can only be answered by Freebase or a lot of work—even though I don’t see Freebase as being primarily for casual searching/browsing in the way that Wikipedia is, it’s always nice when I come up with a casual question (one that might come up in conversation, say) that suits the site very well.

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