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I'm new to GIS and I'm asking this a bit out of desperation, but I'm trying my best not to get overwhelmed. :)

I want to download a file that contains data of a road network (of what road network is not a concern to me), visualize this road network, but then be able to run a simulation on it (so it can't be an image, i.e. a .jpeg). I'm looking for what resources/software I should use.

(Is there a way I can chat with someone who knows about GIS? I feel that would be better.)

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What sort of simulation do you want to run on the data? – Fezter Nov 19 '12 at 9:04

you can get vector data of road network from openstreetmap. They allows you to download osm which can them be converted to PostGIS, shapefile etc. see here for conversion details. try JOSM which is a java client for downloading data from openstreetmap. You can find enough tutorials using JOSM here

Hope that helps

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you can check out MATSim - Agent-Based Transport Simulations. it has lots of well-documented tutorials too. there is good video here on vimeo.

MATSim provides a framework to implement large-scale agent-based transport simulations. The framework consists of severel modules which can be combined or used stand-alone. Modules can be replaced by own implementations to test single aspects of your own work. Currently, MATSim offers a framework for demand-modeling, agent-based mobility-simulation (traffic flow simulation), re-planning, a controler to iteratively run simulations as well as methods to analyze the output generated by the modules.


i hope it helps you..

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I tried out MATSim last week, but in order to visualize the data I had to download their affiliated proprietary software, Via, which is not open-source. Because of this I couldn't do what I wanted to do. – 45lbplates Nov 19 '12 at 16:23

If you don't care about which road network you get, I'd recommend you download some free TIGER datasets.

I would not recommend OSM because it just complicates things unnecessarily. The OSM graph is not routeable by default.

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I found data from where I live (…) but can you tell me how to open a .sh or .kml file? – 45lbplates Nov 19 '12 at 16:25
PostGIS comes with a Shapefile Loader. Since you tagged this question PostGIS, I guess that's what you are looking for: shp2pgsql. – underdark Nov 19 '12 at 16:26
I'll look into this. Thank you. – 45lbplates Nov 19 '12 at 16:30

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