I was looking for a Stack Exchange site to ask this and Open Data seems to be the one.

I am to write a short note on how to find information on the internet and for that I would love to read a taxonomy of internet sites, or, to talk this site's language, a taxonomy of open data sources. What are their properties, how can one use their data and how can they be found if one has a special query. Search sites (e.g. Google) does not necessarily help at the first attempt.

Is there one?

  • 1
    data sources don't always align with 'websites' (no matter what data.nasa.gov would try to believe). People often talk about 'dark' data on the internet -- stuff that's there but not able to use easily (typically, unstructured or poorly organized). I'm not aware of any taxonomy, but I can think of a few facets that might be useful for classifying websites or respositories. (but I'm afraid of answering this and no one else wanting to contribute ... I guess I could set up a community wiki, if people want)
    – Joe
    Aug 13, 2014 at 15:52
  • What do you mean with "Search sites"?
    – the
    Aug 13, 2014 at 20:56
  • Google, for example.
    – Gergely
    Aug 14, 2014 at 9:21

3 Answers 3


First Caveat, I am a co-founder of opengeocode.org

We have a few resources that might help you:


datahub.io looks like a good way to find sources for open data.

It is based on CKAN:

CKAN is a powerful data management system that makes data accessible – by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. CKAN is aimed at data publishers (national and regional governments, companies and organizations) wanting to make their data open and available.

About Datahub:

The Datahub provides free access to many of CKAN's core features, letting you search for data, register published datasets, create and manage groups of datasets, and get updates from datasets and groups you're interested in. You can use the web interface or, if you are a programmer needing to connect the Datahub with another app, the CKAN API.

CKAN.org has a list of a lot more instances of CKAN instances.


ArcGIS Open Data would be another good way to find (mostly) spatial data sources. It exposes data from users who are using ArcGIS Server or ArcGIS Online to manage their data. You can see data about individual open data sites by looking at opendata.arcgis.com/explore.json

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