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As stated in the title, I'm currently looking for a shapefile/other geodata source of Europe's major roads (highways). If anybody knows a free datasource (or a possibility to extract that data from Open Street Map without processing the world file), it would be greatly appreciated.

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4 Answers 4

You can download nightly OpenStreetMap Europe snapshots from here:

http://download.geofabrik.de/osm/

As of today:

  • europe.osm.bz2 03-May-2012 06:31 11G OpenStreetMap data, bzip2 compressed
  • europe.osm.pbf 03-May-2012 00:56 7.8G OpenStreetMap data, protobuf binary format

Using GDAL/OGR you can then extract the roads with a SQL statement (see http://www.gdal.org/ogr/ogr_sql.html) by querying e.g. the type.

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Thanks, but the amount of time and work needed to process this huge file is too high. I need a really abstracted dataset, such as shown here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_E-road_network –  chriserik May 4 '12 at 10:38

Following from markusN, there are OpenStreetmap downloads at GeoFabrik that are in shapefile format and therefore don't require processing (depending on the dataset).

Alternately, there's one here: http://www.mapcruzin.com/free-europe-arcgis-maps-shapefiles.htm

But at 900MB, I suspect its not abstracted.

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Great - thanks for the link! That seems to be excactly what i was looking for. –  chriserik May 4 '12 at 12:33
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Thought I'd share what I found through lengthy research. It seems, the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) has conducted a transportation network census in 2005. Hidden deep inside their Website, I have found this:

http://www.unece.org/transport/areas-of-work/transport-statistics/statistics-and-data-online/e-roads/transmainwp6e-roads-census-2005.html

You have to download the ArcReader-project, which, when unzipped, contains routable, simplified shapefiles of all major roads along with some useful metadata. Same applies to the train network which can also be found on the page.

enter image description here

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3  
The projection information seems to be missing from the first archive at that link. It's a polyconic projection using the Clarke 1866 ellipsoid, the proj4 string for the projection is +proj=poly +lat_0=33 +lon_0=10 +x_0=0 +y_0=-2222408.5 +ellps=clrk66 +units=m +no_defs. –  Jake Oct 18 '13 at 8:45
    
The choice of the second archive ("Roads ArcReader Projects") with the projection information included is working well. –  markusN Nov 20 at 22:17

For this, EuroGeographic (one of the official European GIS data provider) released as an opendata product the EuroGlobalMap dataset

Data contrary to the link info about "Delivery formats available" can be directly downloaded as SHP (not "on demand")

The dataset contains six themes:

  • Administrative boundaries
  • The water network
  • Transport networks
  • Settlements
  • Elevation
  • Names locations

Another dataset can be the Global Roads Open Access Data Set (gROADS), v1 (1980 – 2010). Look into it at the Columbia University website

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