Transportation Data

World Bank -- The World Bank provides transportation data in time series in a number of the data  bases available at .

Geofabrik -- Geofabrik provides shapefile downloads refreshed daily of selected data (roads, buildings, residential areas, etc.) for all countries from Open Street Maps. Data is available at the country level as shapefiles for most developing countries as well as some smaller industrialized countries. Data for larger countries is often provided only at lower levels of administration--for example states or provinces.  The organization of data can be a bit  confusing. For example, the main menu allows you to select country  data for individual continents by clicking on the continent name. If you click on Africa you will find a list of files for each country with a shapefile.  If you click on North America you will find no shapefile for Canada or the US but shapefiles for all individual US states-- to find the shapefiles for the individual provinces of Canada, you must however select by clicking on Canada. The same rules apply to the other continents. Note that mapping on Open Street Maps is done by volunteers and the completeness of coverage--particularly in rural areas-- varies from country to country. The main menu is at at .

Humanitarian Open Street Maps (HOT)--The HOT export tool ( allows users to draw the areas and identify the data they wish to download as shapefiles. The site provides more choice than Geofabrik but may require several downloads to get complete coverage of a larger country. There is no charge for the data but users have to register before they can request downloads.

GLOBIO--The site hosts the Global Roads Inventory Project (GRIP) which provides seven shapefiles at the continental level for roads mapped by numerous organizations including OpenSteetMaps (OSM). The shapefiles are large and require several minutes to download, even on a high speed network. The data is available at ( The site notes that "the site is not suitable for navigation." Each of the shapefile packages includes an "AttributeDescription.xlsx" file which describes the columns in the attribute file which refer to road classifications, country name, etc.

ICAO--International Civil Aviation Authority--ICAO provides data on civil aviation, but, unlike most of the UN organizations, ICAO charges for most of its data. The data that is provided free is usually in pdf format and has to be "scraped" or converted with special software. The main site for paid content is . Some pdf data is available following links on

IMO --International Maritime Organization--IMO provides data on vessel registration at  and links to its own time series data bases and relevant data bases from other organizations at .

Copyright 1998/2021 GRI    Updated 7 March 2021