Data Resources Guide

Data Sources | Visualization Tools | Geographic Information Systems: GIS

Best Practices for Visualization and Analytics

A graphic that showcases data and visualization

How do I start?

This guide showcases free data resources that the library recommends.

Use the Data Sources to find subject data. Tableau Examples can be found here.

We have more data located in our Library Databases.  


Visualization Tools provides a useful compilation of free data visualization tools.

This "Freemium" product allows you to easily create infographics, presentations and reports. Designed to help you communicate and show your data.

Plotly provides online graphing and stats tools for individuals and collaboration, as well as scientific graphing libraries for Python, R, MATLAB, Perl, Julia, Arduino, and REST.

Raw is an easy-to-use open web app for creating visualizations using D3.js.

Tableau Public is a free data storytelling application. Create and share interactive charts and graphs, maps, live dashboards and applications in minutes, then publish anywhere on the web.

Tableau has an academic program that provides free access to Tableau Desktop for instructors and students:

Voyant Tools
Voyant Tools web-based text reading and analysis environment. It can create some text analysis and allows you to create limiters or highlights the top words used.


Connect people, locations, and data using interactive maps created with ArcGIS Online. Work with smart, data-driven styles and intuitive analysis tools that deliver location intelligence. Share your insights with the world or specific groups. First time users: create an ArcGIS Public Account in order to access the free resources. Please note- there is limited usage and capabilities and is meant for non-commercial use only.

This bibliography covers the literature of geographic information systems, science, and technology. It indexes journals, conference proceedings, books, and reports from the origins of GIS to the present.

The University of Connecticut Library MAGIC (Map and Geographic Information Center), collaborates with agencies, organizations, and centers to provide the public with access to digital access to maps, atlases, aerial photographs, and geospatial data pertaining to the state of Connecticut, New England and the world. MAGIC digitizes public-domain and copyright free maps and resources in order to enable researchers to have digital access to these resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. MAGIC is focused on "Digitizing the Past to Empower 21st Century Research" as we work to develop an interdisciplinary collection of geospatial resources and maps which focus on the state of Connecticut.

NASA's global satellite imagery for everything from average land surface temperature to sea surface salinity. Examine these online or download the images into GIS to use as a map layer.

As one of the cornerstones of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Geospatial Program, The National Map is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation. It has many uses ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response.

Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software.

The Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) distributes open geographically-referenced datasets that represent a wide range of topics, including transportation, infrastructure, and the environment.

Use TOXMAP to for environmental health maps. Use the online maps to visualize information, or download data to create your own analysis.

Find information on RI data, learning opportunities, and more. See the Projects & Initiatives page for Rhode Island projects and resources. The Environmental Data Center (EDC) is a Geographic Information System (GIS) and spatial data analysis lab at URI. The EDC is the center of technical expertise in GIS for the state of Rhode Island. Major areas of research are spatial data modeling, ecological mapping, and data integration for environmental applications.

Data Sources

General | National | International | Social | Health | Science | Finance | Economic


Data USA
Created by Deloitte, Datawheel, and Cesar Hidalgo, a professor at the MIT Media Lab and Director of Collective Learning. DataLab

Kaggle Datasets
A website that teaches data science, hosts competions and showcases free data sets-both real and created for practice.

Registry of Research Data Repositories is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. It presents repositories for the permanent storage and access of data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions. promotes a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data. The registry went live in autumn 2012 and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

UCI Machine Learning Repository 
Datasets for Machine Learning.

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The home of the U.S. Government’s open data. Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.

Socrata-Open Data Network
Their mission: Unleashing the Power of Government Data to Improve Society. Socrata provides a data-as-a-service data platform and cloud applications exclusively for city, county, state, and federal government organizations.

US Census Bureau 
A wealth of information on the lives of US citizens covering population data, geographic data and education.

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European Union Open Data Portal 
The European Union Open Data Portal (EU ODP) gives you access to open data published by EU institutions and bodies. All the data you can find via this catalogue are free to use and reuse for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Open Government Data
The aim of the Open Government Data Working Group is to support development of open government data catalogues around the world, and ensure different platforms are technically interoperable.

United Nations Data
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) launched a new internet based data service for the global user community.

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Annenberg Public Policy Center Research Data Sets
This resource holds the National Annenberg Election Survey Data Sets, Institutions of Democracy Data Sets and National Annenberg Survey of Youth. While these sets must be requested, the process to obtain this data is simple. 

Wikipedia is comprised of millions of pieces of data, structured and unstructured on every subject under the sun. DBPedia is an ambitious project to catalogue and create a public, freely distributable database allowing anyone to analyze this data.

Google Books Ngrams
Search and analyze the full text of any of the millions of books digitised as part of the Google Books project. is an ambitious project to catalogue and create a public, freely distributable database allowing anyone to analyze this data.

General Social Survey (GSS)
This is the key survey for US American demographics, behaviors, and trends. The GSS gathers data on contemporary American society to monitor and explain trends and constants in attitudes, behaviors, and attributes. Hundreds of trends have been tracked since 1972. In addition, since the GSS adopted questions from earlier surveys, trends can be followed for up to 80 years.

Pew Research Datasets
The Pew Research Center makes its data available to the public for secondary analysis after some time. You can find datasets by the described research areas: US Politics & Policy, Journalism & Media, Internet, Science & Tech, Religion & Public Life, Hispanic Trends, Global Attitudes & Trends, Social & Demographic Trends, American Trends Panel.

Stanford Large Network Dataset Collection
Contains Social networks, Networks with ground-truth communities, Communication networks, Citation networks, Collaboration networks, Web graphs, Amazon networks, Internet networks, Road networks, Autonomous systems, Signed networks, Location-based online social networks, Wikipedia networks, articles, and metadata, Temporal networks, Twitter and Memetracker, Online communities, Online reviews.

UNICEF Data: Monitoring the Situation of Children and Women

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125 years of US healthcare data including claim-level Medicare data, epidemiology and population statistics. points-of-contact for further information or inquiries can be found on the websites of the individual repositories.

Epidemiology and Statistics: US Data Sources
This guide links to Statistical and Epidemiological resources for Health Professionals.

Health Statistics and Data: Datasets/Raw Data
This library guide from the Berkley University Library compiles a large amount of National and California raw datasets that relate to health statistics and data.

National Health Service
Health data sets from the UK National Health Service.

NIH Data Sharing Repositories
This table lists NIH-supported data repositories that make data accessible for reuse. Links are provided to information about submitting data to and accessing data from the listed repositories. Additional information about the repositories and points-of-contact for further information or inquiries can be found on the websites of the individual repositories.

World Health Organization
Global Health Observatory, WHO's gateway to health-related statistics for more than 1000 indicators for its 194 Member States. Data are organized to monitor progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including health status indicators to monitor progress towards for the overall health goal, indicators to track equity in health indicators, and the indicators for the specific health and health-related targets of the SDGs.

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National Climatic Data Center 
Huge collection of environmental, meteorological and climate data sets from the US National Climatic Data Center. The world’s largest archive of weather data.

Nature Recommended Data Repositories  
Covers data repositories and sources in Biological sciences, Health sciences, Chemistry and Chemical biology, Earth, Environmental and Space sciences, Physics, Materials science, Social sciences and Generalist repositories.

US Geological Survey Science Data Catalog  
The USGS Science Data Catalog provides a search and discovery tool that allows for metadata retrieval, visualization, download, and linking back to original data providers. It also serves as a member node to the NSF Sponsored DataONE Project.

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FINRA Fund Analyzer
Analyze and compare the cost of owning funds. Created by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Google Finance
40 years’ worth of stock market data, updated in real time.

US Deparment of Commerce-- International Trade Administration
Data and analysis on Trade, Industry and Export info. Also info by individual states.

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Google Public DataExplorer
Includes data from world development indicators, OECD, and human development indicators, mostly related to economics data and the world.

US Census Bureau -- Economic
United States Economic Census Data.

World Bank Open Data
Free and open access to global development data.

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(401) 232-6299 or IM a Librarian

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