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Freebase Commons Common /common

  • If you've spent any time exploring Freebase you've no doubt seen the types that are associated with every topic, and you've probably seen some interesting bases and types that other users have made. You've probably also started thinking about ways you could contribute to Freebase by creating types of your own. Although there's a bit of an art to creating types, the actual process for creating them is simple, and there are a couple different ways to do it, though all of them involve using a single tool, the Schema Editor. This beginner's guide will introduce you to some basic concepts for designing the collection of properties, or schema, that make up a type, describe a couple different approaches to designing schemas with the schema editor, and point you toward some additional resources, including our very active community of data modelers (as schema designers are known) who are more than happy to help you develop your own schemas, or improve upon ones that already exist. The Art of Data Modeling Data modeling is a very formal-sounding phrase for an esoteric art. A data modeler looks at the world and asks how would I represent all these things as information? What types of things exist in the world, and what properties do those types have that enable me to represent individual examples, or instances, of them? Data modeling shares a lineage with other methods for describing things, like the taxonomy of animal species, but data modeling can be applied to everything from birds and insects to cars and comedians. If you're reading this, chances are that you already have some ideas in mind for a type, and its properties, that you want to model. Before you get into the nitty-gritty of constructing that type, though, you should take the time to do some research. Read the Data Modeling Guide for some basic pointers about designing schemas, as well as the Guide to Freebase Types to understand the difference between core property types, enumerated types, included types, compound value types, and supporting types. Look at types on Freebase that are similar to the one you have in mind. This may not only provide you with some ideas about how to model your type, but you might see some properties and topics that already exist that you would like to associate with your type. Check out bases that collect topics similar to the ones you would want to associate with your type. Many bases have ongoing discussions between their members about their schemas, and these may provide you with insight into difficulties and solutions with modeling those types. Think about the properties of your type as fields of information that you, or other people, will want to fill in. What kinds of tips and information will you provide to make sure the right information is entered? Have a look at the topics under Adding Properties to Types to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of properties you can create and what kind of information you can represent. Join the Freebase Data-Modeler's email discussion list. You can ask questions, see what other data modelers are working on, and offer your own suggestions. There is also an archive of postings to the list. Creating Your Schema With your data model now firmly in mind, it's time to actually create it on Freebase. There are a couple different ways to get started: You can build a base that will contain your type and its topics. After you've created the base, click on the schema tab, then click edit next to Types created for this base. Enter the name of your new type, click Save, and then click on the name of the type to launch the Schema Editor and begin creating properties for your new type. You can start from your personal homepage or profile page by clicking on the Your Types tab in either location and then clicking create. Enter a name for your new type, click Save, and then click on the type name to launch the Schema editor and begin creating properties for your type. Note that when you use this...

Freebase Commons Freebase /freebase

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