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.
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:
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.
You can download nightly OpenStreetMap Europe snapshots from here:
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.
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
- 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
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.