According to a post we saw on Google Groups yesterday, freebase.com will be shutting down to merge it’s data into Wikimedia Foundation’s project Wikidata. We’ve often used this as a source to help place new entities within Google’s Knowledge Graph.
So 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. Freebase has also supported developer access to the data, so before we retire it, we’ll launch a new API for entity search powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph.
The timeline of these changes are as follows:
- End of March 2015
- Launch of Wikidata import review tool
- Transition plan for Freebase Search API to Knowledge Graph solution
- March 31, 2015
- Freebase.com becomes read-only (no longer accepting edits)
- MQL write API turns off
- June 30, 2015
- Freebase website & APIs shut down
They make a good point, as Freebase does essentially hold a lot of Wikipedia data, so it makes sense to merge the two. However, it may become increasingly difficult to add information about less notable entities. Freebase always had less stringent guidelines as far as what could be posted. With Wikidata, there could and probably will be a loss of millions of topics because they don’t pass Wikidata’s notability guidelines. We’ll see how it plays out.