16.03.2017 by Marisa Krystian
Every great data visualization starts with good, clean data. If you don’t already have data you want to work with, where should you start? The reality is that there are thousands of free datasets available, ready to be analyzed and visualized.
You just need to know where to look.
We’ve collected a list of 50 publicly available websites that provide data on government, global issues, scholarly articles, social media, marketing, science, journalism, media and so much more. We hope you enjoy browsing through these free data sources:
U.S. Census Bureau – The Census Bureau’s mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the people and economy of the US, including population data, geographic data, and education.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration – Here you will find a compressed data file of the Drugs@FDA database. The file is updated once per week, on Wednesday.
U.S. National Center for Education Statistics – The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.
Uniform Crime Reporting – The UCR Program has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students, researchers, members of the media, and the public seeking information on crime in the US.
European Union Open Data Portal – The European Union Open Data Portal is the single point of access to a growing range of data from the institutions and other bodies of the European Union.
Eurostat – Here you will find the key to European statistics. Feel free to search by theme, learning about the European economy, population, industry, trade, technology, and transport.
UK Data Service – The UK Data Service includes major UK government-sponsored surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, international aggregate, business data, and qualitative data.
Data.gov – Data.gov is home to the US government’s open data. Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, and design data visualizations.
Data.gov.uk – Data.gov.uk is home to the UK government’s open data. Find data published by government departments and agencies, public bodies and local authorities.
Data.gov.au – Data.gov.au is home to the Australian government’s open data. The site encourages the public to use government data to analyze, mashup and develop tools and applications.
The World Factbook – The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
International Monetary Fund – IMF Data offers access to macroeconomic and financial data. Created in 1945, the IMF is governed by and accountable to the 189 countries that make up its near-global membership.
UNICEF Research and Reports – UNICEF gathers evidence on the situation of women and children globally. The data sets include accurate, nationally representative data from household surveys and other sources.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – One of the key tasks of UNODC is to produce and disseminate accurate statistics on drugs, crime and criminal justice at the international level.
World Health Organization – The Global Health Observatory provides data and analysis on global health priorities, including world hunger and disease.
Google Finance – Google Finance provides you with up-to-date stock market data, market news, and data on emerging trends. You can also create a portfolio and manage your own stocks.
Google Public Data – Launched in March 2010, the Google Public Data Explorer makes large, public-interest data sets easy to explore, visualize and communicate.
UNESCO – UIS.Stat contains all the latest available data and indicators, for education, literacy, science, technology, innovation, culture, communication and information.
World Bank Open Data – The World Bank’s data catalog is a listing of available World Bank datasets, including databases, pre-formatted tables, reports, and other resources.
World Bank Education Stats – Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality. The World Bank compiles data on education inputs, participation, efficiency, and outcomes.
UNICEF Education Stats – UNICEF provides administrative data on school participation, including net and gross enrolment ratios and survival ratios, by educational level.
Open Data for Africa – Here you can visualize Socio-Economic indicators over a period of time, gain access to presentation-ready graphics and perform comprehensive analysis on a Country and Regional level.
Google Scholar – Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature and academic studies.
Pew Research Center’s Internet Project – PEW offers scholars and the general public access to raw data sets from their research. You can track key national, political, economic and demographic trends in the US.
Europeana Collections – Explore 54,165,855 artworks, artifacts, books, videos and sounds from across Europe.
Science and Health
NOAA’s Science On a Sphere – Science On a Sphere is a large visualization system that uses computers and video projectors to display animated data onto the outside of a sphere.
Open Science Data Cloud – The Open Science Data Cloud provides the scientific community with resources for storing, sharing, and analyzing terabyte and petabyte-scale scientific datasets.
HealthData.gov – This site is dedicated to making high-value health data more accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and policy makers in the hopes of better health outcomes for all.
National Centers for Environmental Information – This page provides quick access to many of NCEI’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various resources.
The Broad Institute Cancer Programs Data – The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT is committed to meeting the most critical challenges in biology and medicine.
National Weather Service – Climate data, including past weather conditions and long-term averages, for specific observing stations around the United States is only a few clicks away.
NASA’s Planetary Data System – The PDS archives and distributes scientific data from NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements.
NASA’s Earth Data – NASA ESDS Program sets the standard for the delivery of science-quality data related to planet Earth. Search datasets, news, articles, and additional information.
Marketing and Social Media
Social Mention – Social Mention is a social media search and analysis platform that aggregates user-generated content from across the universe into a single stream of information.
Google Trends – Google Trends shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world in various languages.
Facebook API – Learn how to publish to and retrieve data from Facebook using the Graph API.
Twitter API – The Twitter Platform connects your website or application with the worldwide conversation happening on Twitter.
Instagram API – The Instagram API Platform can be used to build non-automated, authentic, high-quality apps and services.
Foursquare API – The Foursquare API gives you access to our world-class places database and the ability to interact with Foursquare users and merchants.
Journalism and Media
The New York Times Developer Network – Search Times articles from 1851 to today, retrieving headlines, abstracts and links to associated multimedia. You can also search book reviews, NYC event listings, movie reviews and more.
Associated Press API – The AP Content API allows you to search and download content using your own editorial tools, without having to visit AP portals.
Amazon Web Services – Browse Amazon Web Services’ Public Data Sets by category for a huge wealth of information.
Google Books Ngram Viewer – The Google Books Ngram Viewer is optimized for quick inquiries into the usage of small sets of phrases.
Wikipedia: Database – Wikipedia offers free copies of all available content to interested users. These databases can be used for mirroring, personal use, informal backups, offline use or database queries.
FiveThirtyEight GitHub – Data and code behind the stories and interactives at FiveThirtyEight.
Datasets Subreddit – This popular subreddit offers datasets for data mining, analytics, and knowledge discovery.
Million Song Dataset – The Million Songs Collection is a collection of 28 datasets containing audio features and metadata for a million contemporary popular music tracks.
IMDB – This page describes various alternate ways to access IMDb locally by holding copies of the data directly on your system.
Gapminder – Gapminder produces free teaching resources making the world understandable based on reliable statistics. Gapminder promotes a fact-based worldview everyone can understand.
These free data sources are just the tip of the iceberg! We encourage you to continue exploring with data – make amazing data visualizations, find answers to your questions, and discover new questions you didn’t know you had. Sign up for the Infogram newsletter for more data visualization tips and resources.
You can also check out top data visualization trends in 2017
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