Factual Launches Open Data Platform, Including API

Adam DuVander, November 6th, 2009

FactualStructured data has an open platform, thanks to a new startup aptly named Factual. At first glance, it seems like Excel on the web. However, Factual is more database-oriented, with joining and filtering built-in. Plus, sharing and discussing the data is an integral part of the experience. Most functions on the site, including both reading and writing data, can also happen via the Factual API.

Founder Gil Elbaz announced Factual’s launch:

“Today, we are announcing the beta launch of Factual, a platform where anyone can share and mash open data on any subject. Factual provides smart tools to help the community build and maintain a trusted source of structured data so everyone can make better decisions. Users can contribute data and get deeper data on a particular subject, publishers can add free content to their site with embeddable tables to enhance the end user experience, and developers can customize tables and create new applications using the Factual API.”

There are a handful of fun datasets already, such as American Idol finalists (embedded below) and a little peak into Factual’s employees.

Some have noted a similarity between Factual and Wolfram Alpha, which also has a new API. SearchEngineLand explains the difference:

“Unlike Wolfram Alpha, which is a closed system with data “curated” by employees, Factual has adopted a Wikipedia-like model which allows anyone to create, structure or even edit data in Factual tables. Elbaz hopes this open model will encourage community participation, enabling Factual to grow rapidly and enjoy widespread adoption.”

As part of the open model, Factual allows both reading and writing to its API. Also, unlike Wolfram Alpha, Factual’s API is free for developers.

Factual joins our list of 20+ database APIs. Among the most similar services are community-generated Freebase and Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network.

Tags: database
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7 Responses to “Factual Launches Open Data Platform, Including API”

November 6th, 2009
at 3:54 pm
Comment by: Marshall Kirkpatrick

Makes me think a little about InfoChimps, too

November 9th, 2009
at 12:45 pm
Comment by: Anees Uddin

I am looking forward to seeing how these guys hadle quality control, will they enxouter the same problems as wikipedia. And will the nature of the data on offer be spammy?

November 20th, 2009
at 12:50 pm
Comment by: Fill In The Blank With Wikipedia Quiz

[...] Wikipedia’s unstructured data, imagine what is possible with something like Factual’s open data platform or similar public [...]

September 22nd, 2010
at 6:06 pm
Comment by: Will Factual Become the Go-to Location Database?

[...] wrote about the open platform when Factual launched a year ago. Now it has launched a new site, as well as a number of local features that go live today. Among [...]

September 23rd, 2010
at 3:41 am
Comment by: Will Factual Become the Go-to Location Database? | Digital Asset Management

[...] wrote about the open platform when Factual launched a year ago. Now it has launched a new site, as well as a number of local features that go live today. Among [...]

August 8th, 2011
at 9:01 pm
Comment by: Location Rosetta Stone Aids Interoperable Places Data

[...] Factual first launched, founder Gil Elbaz called it “a platform where anyone can share and mash open data on any [...]

December 15th, 2011
at 9:36 am
Comment by: Factual Places Goes Global, Adds Restaurant Attributes

[...] almost hard to remember that the company started as a generic data platform before focusing on location data in September 2010. While the company is still focused on local [...]

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