HackTO2

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Welcome, HackTO 2010 developers!

This page has pointers to everything you'll need to hack together a Freebase mash-up on Sept 25th.

Contents

What is Freebase?

Freebase is an open, Creative Commons licensed repository of structured data that contains information about 12 million real-world entities including people, places, films, books, events, businesses, and almost any other thing you can imagine. Our graph database has about 400 million facts and connections between entities, and all of it is accessible via our REST API and hosted server-side Javascript app development platform. Metaweb, who developed Freebase, were acquired by Google in July 2010.


Your toolkit

Here's what's in your Freebase toolkit:

  • Schema -- schema docs for the thousands of types of data that make up Freebase.
  • API -- our RESTful API, for querying structured data, fuzzy searching, and more.
  • Query editor -- to help you write MQL queries against Freebase data. Check the tab completion!
  • MQL Cheatsheet (two page PDF) -- quick and easy reference to MQL.
  • Sample code -- simple snippets of code showing how to query Freebase in various different languages.
  • Acre -- hosted SSJS app development platform, with handy libraries and tools.
  • Freebase Suggest -- jQuery plugin for search/suggest against Freebase's 12 million entities.

Tutorials

Example apps

Here are some examples of the sort of apps you can build with Freebase:

FMDB
The Freebase Movie Database. A simple Acre app to query and display information about movies, actors, etc. Click "View Source" to see how it's done!
Tippify
Social recommendations for films, books, and music. Tippify uses Freebase Suggest to help you choose what you want to recommend, then displays your recommendations along with structured data (such as a musical artist's albums) and content from other sites (eg. Youtube). Tippify was also built on Acre.
Freebase Sets
An app inspired by Google Sets which lets you enter a set of topics and find out what they have in common as well as finding other topics in the set.
Genealogy browser
Visualize the family relationships of any person in Freebase.
Conflict History
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.

App ideas

Here are a few ideas for apps that you could build using Freebase.

The Name Game
Can you spell your name using the name of a programming language for each letter? For example: (S)cala, (H)askell, (A)da, (W)hitespace, (N)etLogo. How about spelling your last name using only names of birds? Try building a game that tests you on different categories or automatically solves it if you get stuck.
Dinner and a Movie
Given a movie title, find a local restaurant with a cuisine that matches one of the filming locations. Or, given the cuisine of your favorite restaurant, find recent movies with a similar filming location.
Sample MQL query: Find Toronto restaurants with cuisine that matches the filming location of "The Italian Job"
The Yellow Pages API also has restaurant cuisine types so it may be possible to integrate those results.
Canadian Eh?
Screen scrape the playlist from a local radio station and verify that they actually play 35% Canadian content according to the CRTC rules. Do they play a wide variety of Canadian artists or is it just Nickleback on repeat?
Self-guided Tour of Toronto
Who is the Nathan Phillips in Nathan Phillips Square? Who was Ryerson University named after? Find your location and then show nearby landmarks which were named after famous people and give links to their Wikipedia pages.
Sample geosearch query: Find namesake topics within 15km of the Idee offices

Further reading

Slides

Here are the slides for the presentation on the Freebase API that was given at the beginning of the event.

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