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Acquired byGoogle
Date7/2010

General Information

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San Francisco, USA
631 Howard St.
Suite 400
San Francisco, CA, 94105
USA

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Chief Technology Officer
VP Business Development
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Executive VP for Product Development

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Metaweb Technologies

Metaweb Technologies, Inc. is a company based in San Francisco that is developing Metaweb, a semantic data storage infrastructure for the web, and Freebase, an “open, shared database of the world’s knowledge”. The company was founded by Danny Hillis and others as a spinoff of Applied Minds in July, 2005, and operated in stealth mode until 2007.

Freebase is a massive, collaboratively edited database of cross-linked data. The idea behind the product is to create a Wikipedia like system for building the semantic web. Freebase allows anyone to contribute, structure, search, copy and use data. It sounds like Wikipedia, but instead of arranging by articles, it is more of an almanac, organized like a database, and readable by people and software.

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freebase

Websitefreebase.com
StageAlpha
Launch DateMarch 3, 2007
Tags shared-database, data-web, semantic, wikipedia

Freebase was founded in San Francisco in 2005 by Danny Hillis who previously co-founded both Applied Minds and Thinking Machines Corporation. In March 2006, Freebase received $15 million in funding from investors including Benchmark Capital, Millennium Technology Ventures and Omidyar Network. Freebase is a large public database that collects three kinds of information: data, which includes fine-grained information like the release date of a movie; texts, which include documents such as the topic descriptions; and media, which includes files like images, movies and audio. The key feature that distinguishes Freebase from database competitors like Google Base and Oracle is that their data is highly interconnected. For instance, if you add a Freebase page for yourself and enter that you went to a certain college as a student than you will show up under the student section of your college’s page. And, if your college doesn’t already have a page than one will be automatically created. Google Base consists of many separate data sets that are stored in an organized way. This makes it easy for duplicate records of the same data to be uploaded that might conflict with each other. Freebase takes a different approach of reconciling conflicting data and ensuring that each object only exists once in the database. This means that you won’t find multiple pages for your favorite band. Freebase organized database might be different than Wikipedia’s arranged articles, but Freebase still uses Wikipedia as one of its biggest contributors. Freebase also uses contributors Musicbrainz, with over 4 million songs submissions, and Chemoz, with over 100,000 restaurant review submissions.

Metaweb Technologies screenshot
Above: freebase Screenshot -- #1
Uploaded: 2/5/08

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Metaweb

Sources

  1. Google Acquires Metaweb To Make Search Smarter (techcrunch.com) [edit]
  2. Citation Needed [add]
  3. MetaWeb Gets $42 Million Second Round For Online Database (paidcontent.org) [edit]
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