The remarkable miniaturization of sensors has led to the production of massive amounts of data in smart communities. These data cannot be efficiently collected and processed in WSNs due to the weak communication capability of these networks. This drawback can be compensated for by amalgamating WSNs and cloud computing to obtain sensor clouds. In this article, we investigate, highlight, and report recent premier advances in sensor clouds with respect to data collection. We categorize and classify the literature by devising a taxonomy based on important parameters, such as objectives, applications, communication technology, collection types, discovery, data types, and classification. Moreover, a few prominent use cases are presented to highlight the role of sensor clouds in providing high computation capabilities. Furthermore, several open research challenges and issues, such as big data issues, deployment issues, data security, data aggregation, dissemination of control message, and on time delivery are discussed. Future research directions are also provided.