This video above explains it better than the blog posts below. Metaweb is about barcoding the internet so it becomes easier to search stuff online. No wonder Google came knocking. This is also a great example of innovation happening outside a big company in a startup. If you are a big company, when you can't do it yourself, you can sometimes make up for it by being on a constant lookout, like a frog and fireflies.
TechCrunch: Google Acquires Metaweb To Make Search Smarter
Metaweb develops both semantic data storage infrastructure for the web, and Freebase,an “open, shared database of the world’s knowledge”. Freebase is a massive, collaboratively edited database of cross-linked data. The idea behind the product is to create a system for building the semantic web. Freebase allows anyone to contribute, structure, search, copy and use data.The Official Google Blog: Deeper Understanding With Metaweb
we’ve acquired Metaweb, a company that maintains an open database of things in the world. Working together we want to improve search and make the web richer and more meaningful for everyone. .... we’re also excited about the possibilities for Freebase, Metaweb’s free and open database of over 12 million things, including movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, locations, companies and more. Google and Metaweb plan to maintain Freebase as a free and open database for the world.