Ontology 2 logoOntology2 has announced the release of :BaseKB Early Access 2 (EA2), a tool for accessing Freebase data in RDF.

Paul Houle, founder of Ontology 2, says, “:BaseKB is an important milestone for both Freebase and the Semantic Web. :BaseKB opens Freebase to users of SPARQL and other RDF standards.  The superior quality of Freebase data solves data quality problems that have,  so far,  frustrated Linked Data applications.”

The EA2 release fixes a number of problems in EA1,  most particularly,  problems that affected name resolution.  EA2 also comes with the initial release of basekb-tools:

http://code.google.com/p/basekb-tools/

This tool set is an open-source package that implements the name resolution behavior of the proprietary MQL query engine for SPARQL.  Put simply,  basekb-tools takes a readable query like…

select ?date {
 graph public:baseKB {
  basekb:en.united_states
   basekb:location.dated_location.date_founded ?date .
}
}

…and rewrites it it with identifiers that satisfy the unique name assumption:

select ?date {
 graph public:baseKB {
  basekb:m.09c7w0
   basekb:m.035qyst ?date .
}
}

As Houle says, “This ‘grounding’ process is the key innovation that makes :BaseKB the first correct RDFization of Freebase.  :BaseKB covers the intersection of Freebase and Wikipedia and, like the Freebase quad dump,  is available freely under a CC-BY license.”

He continues, “By installing :BaseKB in a triple store and using basekb-tools,  you can write queries against Freebase using the industry-standard SePARQL 1.1 language.  basekb-tools contains a test suite that confirms the correctness of of the knowledge base and compatibility with your triple store.  We believe that this kind of test suite is a practical answer to pressing problems of Proof and Trust in the semantic web.”

When asked about next steps, Houle replied, “I’d like to invite users and tool vendors to download :BaseKB,  run the tests,  write queries,  join our community and report problems so we can produce a product with unprecedented queryability.”

Photo of Paul HoulePaul Houle will be speaking at the SemTechBiz conference in San Francisco on June 7.  His talk,  “Linked Data, Free Pictures, and Markets for Semantic Data” will cover Ookaboo,  :BaseKB and how they fit into the rapidly emerging semantic-social ecosystem.