Google is closing Freebase, a community-curated database of well-known people, places, and things, and providing a tool that will enable its data to be imported into the Wikidata project.
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Quandl Founder Tammer Kamel wants to create a new Wikipedia for Numeric Data. Quandl has built a sort of "universal data parser" which has thus far parsed about 2.8 million datasets without anything from any data publisher. As long as they spit out data somehow (excel, text file, blog post, xml, api, etc) the "Q-bot" can slurp it up. The result is quandl.com as sort of "search engine" for numerical data. Quandl's bot returns data in a totally standard format. The idea with Quandl is that you can find data fast, and it is ready to use.
The Wikilocation API has expanded to include 36 languages. The geo API for Wikipedia allows developers to find articles with subjects near a specific location. With the new languages, there are now over 3.8 million geocoded articles available via this unofficial API from developer Ben Dodson.
There are any number of questions that can be answered by Wikipedia, but you can add "where am I?" to the list. Given any latitude/longitude coordinates, the WikiLocation API will find you corresponding Wikipedia articles to tell you about your surroundings.
Civic minded hackers from all over the world recently organized themeselves for action as a part of the International Open Government Hackathon. The team from Portland, Oregon decided to make use of a platform called ScraperWiki that can grab data from government websites and turn into more consumable formats via the ScraperWiki API. Their work is an excellent example of developer ingenuity at unlocking data that is hard to use but still very useful.
There's no doubt that Wikipedia is a giant store of information. And yes, they have an API, but the data isn't exactly structured. But that didn't stop Jim Blackler, who created Quizipedia, a fun game based off of Wikipedia entries.
Wikia Search has announced a new feature called Wikia Intelligent Search Extensions, or WISE, which founder Jimmy Wales likens to "Facebook Apps for search results." The new platform allows third parties to build applications, called WISEApps, that Wikia Search users can enable in their accounts and which add additional functionality to relevant search results (more at our Wikia API profile). For example, the results for an ordinary search for "Chicago weather" will include a link to AccuWeather.com, but if the user enables the AccuWeather.com WISEApp, the search result will include a full graphical five-day weather forecast.
Folks interested in "open knowledge" should check out CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network) CKAN is the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network, a registry of open knowledge packages and projects (and a few closed ones).