Or maybe you’d like to write demos with the sample data for presentations. If you do that, you need a really open license so that you can redistribute the data for people to run the demos themselves later.
One great source is Data.gov. The US Government runs this site and they want to provide “open” data– data with few to no restrictions for use.
Each dataset they host or link to has information about the license (or notes if it’s unclear), so they make it pretty easy to figure out what you can and can’t do. Many of the datasets use the CC Zero license!
The data is interesting stuff, too. Topics include:
- Customer complaints
- Airline delays (and why they’re late)
- Crime statistics
- Census data and population estimates
- College ratings and comparisons
- Weather and environmental data
Just want data with geospatial info? There’s a filter for that. Just want data in certain file types? You can set a filter for that, too. Happy querying!