The Semantic Web, RDF, Freebase and now, DBpedia

I was talking with Noah Mendelsohn this morning and we got into a discussion about RDF and it's role in the world. Noah mentioned something called DBPedia which I had not heard of.

DBPedia but it turns out to be a platform that grabs and analyzes Wikipedia content and delivers all that it can as an RDF Service. This sounds a lot like Freebase, another service which I am a fan of too, which has it's own representations and standards, but among many other things, grabs and analyzes Wikipedia content and optionally delivers it, yes, as an RDF service.

Check out my write-up on Freebase if you'd like to know how I see it.

I know that I am selling both services short. But the point is that they sounded so similar that we started thinking were confusing the two. Apparently I am not the only one to see the similarity and wonder about it. Here's an article by James Simmons wondering about the same thing:
"Now that Freebase is available as Linked Data a big question that comes to mind is whether these two major projects will move to assimilate one another. DBpedia and Freebase – two endeavors primarily focused on curating unstructured and semi-structured data about everything and releasing it back into the wild (with structure) – get the bulk of their information from Wikipedia, so the amount of topical overlap is assumed to be extremely high" (from Cross-Pollinating DBPedia and Freebase)

Posted on February 24, 2010 and filed under Technology.