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A View in Freebase is a Collection of Topics expressed through a query and displayed in the Freebase client possibly using one of the built-in Visualizations.


Views for types

A view exists for every ordinary (non-CVT) Type in Freebase. This is automatically created when the type is. Sometimes this view is referred to as a Synthetic view. Examples:

  • When you look at Book you are looking at the synthetic view for the Book type

Detail views

Detail views are frequently linked from the Topic page to show more data. They show the information from a CVT or other such data in a tabular view. Examples:

  • ...?

User-created views

Views can also be created by any user. They can be saved in a Base or to a user's Default domain. Some good examples of user-created views include:

  • ...?

Creating and saving a view


Managing views

If you are the admin of a Base you can manage which views appear on your base's homepage, by clicking on the "All views" link and moving stuff in and out of the "Featured views" area.

Technical definition

A view is the UI rendering of a query and its results. The query object (type /freebase/query) stores the actual query as /common/document/content, and content is strictly read-only. When you edit a view in Freebase, behind the scenes a new query content object is created to record it, uploaded on the user's behalf, and linked to the query topic. Views also have associated properties that indicate the bases they belong to, and the preferred view to use (Summary, Table, Map, etc.). These properties are stored directly in the graph and can be modified via MQL.

It is possible to examine the query content and edit it offline - in Query Editor, for example, then upload the modified query content the same way you would upload a topic article, and update the link to your view.

To read the query content, look at the Explore display of a view for property "/common/document/content", then plug that guid to the following url (replacing <guid>):<guid>

Curated/uncurated views

Views in Freebase are "curated" by default. If a view is uncurated, when a topic is added that fits the filter or filters that created the view, the topic will automatically appear in the collection. If a view is curated, then the same event does not automatically result in the topic appearing in the collection. This boolean value is stored in property /freebase/query_hints/curated. It should be false for any view where it's desirable that newly added qualifying topics should automatically be added to the collection.

The following MQL turns off curation for a view when written using the Query Editor or a program:

  "/freebase/query_hints/curated" : [
      "connect" : "update",
      "value" : false
  "id" : "/base/<basename>/views/<viewname>"

If you want to curate a collection using the API, the hidden type /base/<basename>/topic (analogous to /common/topic) can be assigned to a topic to add it to a curated view.

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