You already know that NYTimes.com is an unparalleled source of news and information. But now it’s a premier source of data, too — why just read the news when you can hack it?
The NY Times developer network has previously released a set of APIs for People, topics or article categories. It even includes an API for bestsellers. A couple of days ago, NYT announced an ambitious project: mapping their subject index to freebase and dbpedia nodes. I see a treasure trove of research tools and applications coming out of this idea. One of them would be who gets to talk about what in public debates. Or, take a look at the existing NYT trender.
For more than 150 years, The New York Times has meticulously indexed its archives. Through this process, we have developed an enormous collection of subject headings, ranging from “Absinthe” to “Zoos”.
Unfortunately, our list of subject headings is an island. For example, even though we can show you every article written about “Colbert, Stephen ,” our databases can’t tell you that he was born on May 13, 1964, or that he lost the 2008 Grammy for best spoken word album to Al Gore. To do this we would need to map our subject headings onto other Web databases such as Freebase and DBPedia.
So that’s exactly what we did.
Over the last several months we have manually mapped more than 5,000 person name subject headings onto Freebase and DBPedia. And today we are pleased to announce the launch of http://data.nytimes.com and the release of these 5,000 person name subject headings as Linked Open Data.
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