Creative Commons License

Freebase Gridworks: The Data Curation Tool

Tuesday, April 06, 2010 at 07:18 AM EDT

Image via CrunchBase

I found out about Freebase Gridworks through a post by Jon Udell. In the post, Jon refers to two screencasts on this yet unreleased product. In the Freebase blog post, they quote the announcement from the mailing list. The important bits

We at Metaweb strongly believe that Freebase can be helpful not only as a giant repository of heavily curated and interconnected data but also as a way to help people cleanup and integrate their own datasets by aligning their data with a shared substrate.

Jon adds to this after seeing the screencasts

As the open data juggernaut picks up steam, a lot of folks are going to discover what some of us have known all along. Much of the data that’s lying around is a mess. That’s partly because nobody has ever really looked at it. As a new wave of visualization tools arrives, there will be more eyeballs on more data, and that’s a great thing. But we’ll also need to be able to lay hands on the data and clean up the messes we can begin to see. As we do, we’ll want to be using tools that do the kinds of things shown in the Gridworks screencasts.

I am sure Mr. Saunders would agree that a lot o the data that informaticians get from their collaborators is a mess. Would a system like this, which uses a shared substrate, and faceted actions on imported data with real time updates and reporting, work for data cleanup and reconciliation, or is our data not quite that messy. If nothing else, I think curation tools would really benefit from such an approach (it’s definitely seen in some commercial solutions out there). Check out the screencasts and let me know what you think.

Freebase Gridworks 1.0 beta Overview from David Huynh on Vimeo.

Faceting with Freebase Gridworks from Stefano Mazzocchi on Vimeo.