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For which location you want ?? For ex. with QGIS you will get Alaska data (hub.qgis.org/projects/quantum-gis/wiki/Download#72-Alaska) –  Sunil Jan 28 '13 at 6:14
    
My Area of interest is mainly in Asia and Global. –  Harold Chan Jan 28 '13 at 6:25
    
Any reasonable answer to this very broad question would be so long and take so long to write that it would be out of date before it was finished. Please feel welcome to inquire about specific forms of data. –  whuber Jan 28 '13 at 17:29
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closed as not a real question by Devdatta Tengshe, Aragon, whuber Jan 28 '13 at 17:29

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

best source for global data imho is naturalearth:

http://www.naturalearthdata.com/

I collected a big list of public available data here:

http://desktopmapping.blogspot.co.at/2012/06/diverse-vektordaten.html (its in german, but you can just follow the links e.g. in the section global))

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Check out http://www.gadm.org/ for shape-files of country administrative areas.

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The answer really depends on the area, and type of data you are interested in. One of the best locations to get POI and road data is from OSM. Cloudmade provides this data in an easy to use manner.

Update As Uffe has mentioned in a comment, the Cloudmade data is quite old. You can download the data from Geofabrik here

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Cloudmade provides hopelessly outdated versions from Dec 2011. Go directly to Geofabrik for updated versions. –  Uffe Kousgaard Jan 28 '13 at 8:07
    
@UffeKousgaard I did not know that the data was old. Thanks for letting me know. –  Devdatta Tengshe Jan 28 '13 at 14:19
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