In the Digital Cafe on Open Data, I'll give recent examples of data we use in the Atmospheric Sciences here at UVic (mostly my group, other examples).
The database for molecular spectroscopy for climatically relevant gases. Every climate model will use this as the basis for molecular absorption. Data access provided following request from institutional email address.
Current weather analysis products. Charts used weekly for teaching in EOS 340. Crown copyright, licenced royalty free.
Rapidly updated database of vertical profiles of meteorological data from radiosonde profiles (nearest sites Olympic Peninsula & Port Hardy). Used regularly in EOS 340. Licencing unclear. Comes with a nice advert for their grad program!
Raindrop size data used by an honours student investigating fossil raindrop imprints. A great example of use which would never be envisioned! US Government produced data is public domain.
Merged data-model product archiving the best estimate of the state of the atmosphere at any time. Extensive use in meteorology research (used by my grads). Produced by various agencies, with different properties.
Open source weather forcasting package, accessing open(?) weather data. Used extensively in GEOG 472 - alongside collecting data locally.
Some big data centres