Freebase: Types, Topics, Timelines and Mentions


I wanted to make a View in Freebase showing Topics that were mentioned in a Work. As this property isn't available yet, I created two new Types in my domain: "Mentioning Work" (a subclass of Work*) and "Mentioned Topic" (a subclass of Topic), as prototypes for properties that can hopefully be added to the offical Types. I added reciprocal properties to these Types: "Mentions" and "Mentioned In", respectively.

I then added the "Mentioning Work" Type to a book, and added a list of people as "Mentioned Topics" from that book - now these properties are available as a View on that book. The detailed version of that View can be customised and saved to any user's domain.

In a View saved to your domain, you can choose to display the data as a Table, Gallery or Timeline (and soon a Map), using the 'Edit View' link on the right-hand side. For each of those views you can choose which properties are displayed for each entry, and for the Timeline you can choose which properties should be plotted (in this case it's 'date of birth' (a Person property) and 'date of death' (a Deceased Person property).

As a side benefit, it's now easy for other users to come along and add items to the View, with many of the property fields automatically filled in.

There's an ensuing discussion of "Mentions" and "Mentioned In" on the Freebase data-modelling list.

* "Work" doesn't actually exist as a type, but is divided into "Written Work", "Film", etc.