Structured 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.”
“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.