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Factual…Off and Running

What an exciting week it’s been! Factual’s public launch was only seven day ago, and the feedback we’ve received – from the pressbloggers“tweeters,” and tech enthusiasts – has been tremendously encouraging. One thing is for sure: there’s a growing interest among Internet users for more open, transparent, and reliable data. And while Factual currently hosts a good deal of data – our California restaurant table alone has over 54,000 rows – we’re just getting started.

Factual tables are already demonstrating the power and usefulness of open data. One such table is a list of every death row inmate in the United States. This table was a collaboration between Factual and several advocacy groups. These groups seeded the table by suggesting a schema and contributing data (sourced from various state government websites). We then leveraged Factual’s fact cleaning, merging, and augmentation technologies to organize the data – and now, it just may be the best centralized database of its kind:

This Factual table has been removed

Several of our launch partners have embedded the death row table on their websites, including The American Bar Association, The ACLU, Death Penalty Discourse Network (founded by Sister Helen Prejean), Journey of Hope, and the Indiana Coalition Acting to Suspend Executions.

Their responses to the table have been very positive.

“The Prisoners on Death Row database provides an excellent means for individuals and organizations to collaboratively build a real-time database that would be too staggering for just one group to assemble,” said Will McAuliffe, Executive Director of the Indiana Coalition Acting to Suspend Executions. “In my work on the issue of the death penalty, [this] is a great tool that gets the information out to our visitors in an easy-to-understand and searchable way.”

Donnie Morehouse, Associate Director, ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, agrees. “This [table] will be an important part of our issue education on the death penalty in the two states in which we work. ACLU members and our coalition partners will be able to use our website to locate critical DP information, to contribute to the database and to gain an awareness of the issue beyond the bounds of our region.”

As you can see, organizations and individuals are discovering how Factual can help support their objectives, add value to their websites, and fulfill their data needs.

How can it work for you?

– The Factual Team