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Free data sources

  • 1.  Free data sources

    Moderator
    Posted 06-24-2019 07:48
    Something to check out. "Buyer" beware - while sources are free the author notes issues to be weary of including quality concerns.  Anything specific catch your eye?

    Top 10 Great Sites with Free Data Sets
    Towards Data Science remove preview
    Top 10 Great Sites with Free Data Sets
    Places to find free, interesting datasets and leverage insights from. If you are a beginner who hasn't tried yet a hand on data science projects, your possible transition from the starting point 'no experience' to so exceptionally desired destination called 'expert' will be nothing more than datasets.
    View this on Towards Data Science >
    https://towardsdatascience.com/top-10-great-sites-with-free-data-sets-581ac8f6334


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    Dave Andrews
    Pitney Bowes Inc
    Stamford CT
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  • 2.  RE: Free data sources

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 06-24-2019 09:20
    hi @Dave Andrews - interesting article - the largest concern that comes to mind are twofold:

    1. The terms of usage of the data; whether free or paid, there are a myriad of data licenses that restrict what you can do with the dataset.  Sometimes in the zeal for using free (or Open) data this gets overlooked and its actually a critical step in the process.  Close attention needs to be paid to what license the data is published under.
    2. The data may have been uploaded at a free site and the uploader didn't have the authority to do so; I encountered this with addressing data in the past and our excitement turned to disappointment when we double-checked with the originator of the data who confirmed it was not supposed to be there.

    Caveat Emptor rules the day in this business...

    Thanks
    Tom


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    Tom Gilligan
    Pitney Bowes Software, Inc.
    White River Junction, VT, USA
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  • 3.  RE: Free data sources

    Posted 06-25-2019 04:29
    Hi Dave,

    Our experience with open data or free data is both positive and negative. As Tom pointed out, there is a lot of data out there that was uploaded accidentally or illegally, which does pose a threat to data provider like us but on the positive side these have also offered people the opportunity to start to play with data and in doing this seeing the value and advantages of spatial analysis. This then generates the interest to pursue and implement these processes with the support of a professional data provider.

    Our experience is that the users of open or free data are hesitant in using it for professional analysis because of the uncertainties surrounding vintage, coverage, methodology, consistency, license restriction and lack of support if any. With open data or anything free, it's always a 50/50 chance that it works out. If you are lucky it's all great but, in the event, there is an issue the risk lies 100% by the person who downloaded the data and used it. And who today can afford to put their job at risk or even worse the reputation of the organization they are representing because they thought they would save the company some money by downloading some free data to perform a professional analysis.

    Some food for thought, if a stranger in the street offers you anything for free, the first thought is caution, why and where's the catch but when downloading something for free from the web, these thoughts don't cross your mind. In todays world there is rarely something for free that doesn't have so or other catch to it.

    Best regards,

    Ray

    Ray Roberts-York
    Managing Director
    MBI Michael Bauer International GmbH

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    Ray Roberts-York
    MB International GmbH
    Karlsruhe
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  • 4.  RE: Free data sources

    Pitney Bowes
    Posted 06-25-2019 07:55
    excellent analogy @Ray Roberts-York!​

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    Tom Gilligan
    Pitney Bowes Software, Inc.
    White River Junction, VT, USA
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