Freebase is shutting down, they announced the news today on Google+. Freebase, which is currently owned by Google, powers part of Google’s Knowledge Graph.
We’ve decided to help transfer the data in Freebase to Wikidata, and in mid-2015 we’ll wind down the Freebase service as a standalone project.
The data will not be going away, they will be transferring it to Wikimedia Foundation’s project Wikidata, which will have their own API to power developer access. This includes, enabling Google to access the data for their Knowledge Graph.
Freebase had a committed volunteer base, and when communities change ownership and hands, sometimes those volunteers stop updating the data. In addition, it is unclear if migrating to Wikidata will make it harder for volunteers to update the data. It is also unclear if the migration will make it harder or easier to influence Google’s Knowledge graph. All of this will be cleared up as we work through their timeline.
Here is the timeline of what is changing and when it is changing with Freebase:
Before the end of March 2015 they will launch a Wikidata import review tool and announce a transition plan for the Freebase Search API & Suggest Widget to a Knowledge Graph-based solution. On March 31, 2015, Freebase as a service will become read-only, the website will no longer accept edits and they will retire the MQL write API. On June 30, 2015 they will retire the Freebase website and APIs and the last Freebase data dump will remain available, but developers should check out the Wikidata dump.
Hat tip to Bill Hartzer for spotting this.
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