El Blog

122 Data Sources For Your Next Great Piece of Content

By Posted in Content Marketing Data for Data Visualization Projects


The reality of the content marketing world is that you need to create interesting and share worthy content if you plan on achieving even a modicum of success. To this end, data visualizations  have become one of the most effective ways to create great content pieces.

At HighRank Websites, creating beautiful and thought provoking data visualizations are an important part of the marketing process for our clients.  Here are a few pieces of content we’ve created lately that were dependent on the data behind the project.

NFL Crimes Interactive

Cost of Prisons in the US

Where do Crimes Happen in the U.S.

A well done data visualizations can provide context, tell a story, support a point of view or simply offer an easier way to understand something that’s more difficult to comprehend than by simply looking at a spreadsheet. Great data visualizations – and great content overall – start with great data.  However, it’s important to rely on accurate data from trusted sources – this is the Internet after all – and you can’t always trust all the information that’s out there. (Side note:  If you plan on pitching your content to any journalist worth his or her salt, your content had better be based on rock solid data)

Finding quality, accurate, and relevant data is often half the battle.  While there are large databases for almost any topic or idea you can think of online, combing through the wide expanse of the web to discover the right data-set for your specific story can be overwhelming.  So, we did the leg work for you and put together a great list of over 100 data-sets that are open and free for the public.

Below are 122 places to find data for your next amazing piece of content organized into six major categories: Government Data, Data Search Sites, Social/Economic Data, Health/Science Data, Earth/Geography Data, and Miscellaneous Data.

Government Data

There is an near-unlimited source of data compiled by government – organizational, city, state, national, international.  This data can be very generic and all-encompassing or can be as specific as DMV records.  It can be a little daunting making the determination which data sets work for you and your client, but once you narrow it down you can feel relatively comfortable that the data is correct and reliable.

http://data.worldbank.org/ – Free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe

http://www.imf.org/external/data.htm – Predefined data reports by country, topic, or data source

http://www.bls.gov/data/ – U.S. Department of Labor databases, tables and calculators by specific subjects

http://www.usaid.gov/open – U.S. Agency for International Development data transparency and accountability – to serve as a model of open and collaborative government

http://www.state.gov/open/ – U.S. Department of State data transparency, participation, collaboration, innovation, improving the site, and the Department’s Open Government Plan

http://data.un.org/ – United Nations data search

http://data.nasa.gov/ – NASA Open Government Initiative, and is intended to improve access to NASA data

http://www.justice.gov/data/ – U.S. Department of Justice high-value data inventory identifies a large set of raw data and other information we believe will be of interest to the public

http://www2.epa.gov/open/data-inventory-and-activities – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency public data-sets

http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/transparency/opengovernment/default.htm – U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides easy access to valuable FDA public data

http://www.dot.gov/data – U.S. Department of Transportation published list of publicly available data sets

http://energy.gov/data/open-energy-data -U.S. Department of Energy

http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/landing.jhtml?src=pn – U.S. Department of Education Information and data on education-related data and research

http://www.faa.gov/data_research/ – Federal Aviation Administration data research to ensure that commercial and general aviation is the safest in the world

U.S. National

http://www.data.gov/ – The home of the U.S. Government’s open data

http://usgovxml.com/ – US Government Web Services and XML Data Sources


https://data.wa.gov/ – Washington State data source

https://data.oregon.gov/ – Oregon data source

http://data.ca.gov/ – California data source

http://www.utah.gov/data/ – Utah data source

http://www.colorado.gov/data/ – Colorado data source

http://openbooks.az.gov/app/transparency/index.html  – Arizona data source

http://www.sunshineportalnm.com/ – New Mexico data source

http://www.nd.gov/gis/ – North Dakota data source

http://open.sd.gov/ – South Dakota data source

http://www.nebraska.gov/data.html – Nebraska data source

http://www.kansasopengov.org/ – Kansas data source

http://www.ok.gov/about/data.html – Oklahoma data source

http://www.texas.gov/en/connect/pages/open-data.aspx – Texas data source

http://www.state.mn.us/opendata/ – Minnesota data source

http://data.iowa.gov/ – Iowa data source

https://data.mo.gov/ – Missouri data source

http://wwwprd.doa.louisiana.gov/LaTrac/portal.cfm – Louisiana data source

http://www.michigan.gov/openmichigan – Michigan data source

https://data.illinois.gov/ – Illinois data source

http://opendoor.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx – Kentucky data source

http://ohio.gov/government/factsandhistory/ – Ohio data source

http://www.tn.gov/opengov/ – Tennessee data source

http://open.alabama.gov/ – Alabama data source

http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/data/index.pl – Maine data source

https://data.ny.gov/ – New York data source

http://www.ri.gov/data/ – Rhode Island data source

http://transparency.ct.gov/html/main.asp – Connecticut data source

http://www.delaware.gov/topics/data.shtml – Delaware data source

https://data.maryland.gov/ – Maryland data source

http://datapoint.apa.virginia.gov/ – Virginia data source

http://www.ncopenbook.gov/ – North Carolina data source

http://www.open.georgia.gov/ – Georgia data source

http://www.floridahasarighttoknow.com/ – Florida data source

https://data.hawaii.gov/ – Hawaii data source


http://data.gov.uk/ – United Kingdom data source

http://datos.gob.es/ – Spain data source

http://data.norge.no/ – Norway data source

http://openaid.se/ – Sweden data source

http://opengovdata.ru/ – Russia data source

http://data.gc.ca/eng – Canada data source

http://govinfo.nlc.gov.cn/ – China data source

http://data.gov.au/ – Australia data source

https://data.govt.nz/ – New Zealand data source

http://data.gov.in/ – India data source

http://www.dati.gov.it/ – Italy data source

https://www.govdata.de/ – Germany data source

http://www.statcentral.ie/ – Ireland data source

http://opendata.mx/ – Mexico data source

http://dados.gov.br/ – Brazil data source

http://www.dados.gov.pt/pt/catalogodados/catalogodados.aspx – Portugal data source

Data Search Sites

These are some of the go-to sites when you are searching different topics of interest.  You can just type in your subject or look through their areas of interest.   These sites cover data, statistics, and visualizations.  The information covers just about everything you can imagine and is provided by governmental and private organizations.

http://www.researchpipeline.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Main_Page – summarizes software, journals, resources in data sets

http://knoema.com/ – Get data for your report, research or assignment in seconds

http://databib.org/ – searchable catalog / registry / directory / bibliography of research data repositories

http://www.reddit.com/r/datasets – Data sets for Data Mining, analytics and knowledge discovery

https://public.resource.org/ – Data making Government information more accessible

http://www.growmeme.com/ – Accessible library of many of the ‘open’ social network analysis datasets

http://crawdad.org/ – Community Resource for Archiving Wireless Data At Dartmouth, a wireless network data resource for the research community

http://www.zanran.com/q/ – Web search for data and statistics

http://aws.amazon.com/datasets – Public Data Sets on AWS provides a centralized repository of public data sets that can be seamlessly integrated into AWS butt-based applications

http://archive.ics.uci.edu/ml/ – 297 data sets as a service to the machine learning community

https://data.govloop.com/ – GovLoop is the premier online community connecting more than 60,000 government innovators from federal, state, and local government

http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/tools/online-databases.html – Data on American history and government, archival administration, information management, and government documents to NARA staff, archives and records management professionals, and the general public

http://enigma.io/ – Quickly search and analyze billions of public records published by governments, companies and organizations

Social/Economic Data

The data presented in this list is vast, covering anything from education, to population topics such as mortality rates, population statistics, and human longevity, to economic issues such as poverty and economic development.  The information is viewed from different perspectives: globally, internationally, by country, and area.  Data offered by these universities, non-profit organizations and governments is intended for the use and benefit of researchers, students, political analysts, journalists

http://www.mortality.org/ – The Human Mortality Database provides detailed mortality and population data to those interested in the history of human longevity

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/CPES/ – Data regarding the investigation of cultural and ethnic influences on mental health

http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx – Substantial data bases regarding worldwide economic development

http://econ.worldbank.org/datasets – Data-sets and analytical tolls concerning socio-economic factors

http://www.aidinfo.org/data – Financial aid Data

https://gettingpastgo.socrata.com/ – Data on public education

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/ – Federal Reserve Economic data

https://timetric.com/ – Used to improve business values and manage business risk

https://data.medicare.gov/ – Volumes of Medicare data is accessible in this site which have been obtained from many sources including hospitals, nursing homes and doctors

Health/Science Data

This data set list covers a variety of health related areas from general health to disease, medical conditions and mental health.  The data is presented in different formats including questionnaires, surveys, research, funding, and statistics.  The information is collated from a national perspective to more of an individual level by national organizations, universities and blogs.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/nhanes_questionnaires.htm – Questionnaires, data-sets and other related documentation concerning national health and nutrition

http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2010/06/29/disease-and-patient-level-statistics-with-wolframalpha/ – Data from two national surveys and offers statistics concerning disease and disease related topics

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/CPES/ – This data set is compiled from surveys and provides data related to mental disorders among the general population, with an emphasis on minorities

http://www.dartmouthatlas.org/ – Variations in how medical resources are distributed and used in the U.S.

http://www.who.int/research/en/ – The World Health Organization provides access to data and analyses for monitoring the global health situation

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Ftp/ – Databases complied by the National Center for Biotechnology Information

Earth/Geography Data

This category of data is very broad and covers more than the title suggests.  It encompasses topics such as weather, climate change, topography, geology, geophysical and much more.  The data covers areas of interest ranging from the atmosphere to our ocean, land, solar and even space.  The data is presented via grids, graphs, tables and maps on many different levels including global, national and state.  Many types of organizations are involved in collecting this type of data such as governments, private research organizations, foundations, public domain, and societies.

http://berkeleyearth.org/data – Various data regarding Earth surface temperature

https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/ – Global surface temperature data sets

http://www.naturalearthdata.com/downloads/ – Data use in creating customized maps

http://data.geocomm.com/drg/index.html – Digital topographic map (raster) graphic data

http://planet.openstreetmap.org/ – Regularly updated maps of the planet

http://libremap.org/ – Aggregate and create digital maps and related GIS date and provide them for free

http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/ngdc.html – Geophysical data from our Sun to Earth and Earth’s sea floor and solid earth environment, including Earth observations from space

http://data.reegle.info/ – Comprehensive set of linked clean energy data

Miscellaneous Data

These sites attempt to provide help on how to use and manage data whether it is using data to build websites, using butt services to manage large sets of data, or even using data to compete with others for the best data prediction.  Organizations such as private companies, universities, and data science communities provide this advice for businesses, researchers, web developers, and data science geeks.

http://kdd.ics.uci.edu/ – Enables researchers in knowledge discovery and data mining to scale existing and future data analysis algorithms to very large and complex data sets

https://www.qunb.com/ – Helps in the conversion of data into data visualization

http://www.infochimps.com/ – Makes organizing and storing large databases easier and more manageable by offering butt services

http://www.kaggle.com/ – Data prediction competitions

http://www.freebase.com/ – A community-curated database of well-known people, places, and things

https://delicious.com/ – Tools offered in this site you can bookmark, or keep track of, the information you are interested on the web

http://carl.cs.indiana.edu/data/  – Offers a list of tools for processing data

http://datahub.io/ – Home for your data and a way to get, use and store data

http://www.quandl.com/ – A way to find, use and share numerical data

http://www.kdnuggets.com/datasets/index.html – Resource for information related to data mining such as software, jobs and education

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Wikipedia:Database_download – Ability to download Wikipedia’s databases

https://developer.yahoo.com/geo/geoplanet/data/ – Resource for geo-referencing data on earth’s surfaces

https://data.sunlightlabs.com/ – Data and information regarding the running of our government accessible to the public

http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2006/08/all-our-n-gram-are-belong-to-you.html – Using word n-gram models for a variety of R&D projects, such as statistical machine translation, speech recognition, spelling correction, entity detection, information extraction, and others

https://books.google.com/ngrams/ – This data tool allows you to graph phrases used in books

 https://www.google.com/publicdata/directory – Data sets provided by Google

http://figshare.com/ – Allows users to upload any file format to be made visible in the browser so that data-sets can be disseminated in a way that the current scholarly publishing model does not allow

If you know of any good resources of data-sets and databases that you don’t see above, please share them in the comments section so that I can add them to the list.

(1) peeps have had something to say...

  • Ting - Reply

    January 20, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Your list is a map to the gold in my data mining endeavor. Thank you!

Please leave a Comment