GRIP global roads database

GRIP global roads database

The Global Roads Inventory Project (GRIP) dataset was developed to provide a more recent and consistent global roads dataset for use in global environmental and biodiversity assessment models like GLOBIO.

Global map showing GRIP4 coverage

The GRIP dataset consists of global and regional vector datasets in ESRI filegeodatabase and shapefile format, and global raster datasets of road density at a 5 arcminutes resolution (~8x8km).

The GRIP dataset is mainly aimed at providing a roads dataset that is easily usable for scientific global environmental and biodiversity modelling projects. The dataset is not suitable for navigation. GRIP4 is based on many different sources (including OpenStreetMap) and to the best of our ability we have verified their public availability, as a criteria in our research. The UNSDI-Transportation datamodel was applied for harmonization of the individual source datasets. GRIP4 is provided under a Creative Commons License (CC-0) and is free to use.

The GRIP database and future global road infrastructure scenario projections following the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) are described in the paper by Meijer et al (2018).

When using the GRIP database, citations and acknowledgements could be made as follows:

Meijer, J.R., Huijbegts, M.A.J., Schotten, C.G.J. and Schipper, A.M. (2018): Global patterns of current and future road infrastructure. Environmental Research Letters, 13-064006. Data is available at

Download GRIP4 vector datasets:
Description ESRI filegeodatabase Shapefile
Global vector dataset download fgdb File too big (>2gb)
Region 1: North America download fgdb download shape
Region 2: Central and South America download fgdb download shape
Region 3: Africa download fgdb download shape
Region 4: Europe download fgdb download shape
Region 5: Middle East and Central Asia download fgdb download shape
Region 6: South and East Asia download fgdb download shape
Region 7: Oceania download fgdb download shape

Since the vector dataset is quite large, we also provide derived global road density rasters, to enable easier usage of the GRIP data.

Download GRIP4 global density raster datasets:
Description Ascii grid raster 5 arcminutes
Total density, all types combined download ASCII
Type 1 density (highways) download ASCIIĀ 
Type 2 density (primary roads) download ASCII
Type 3 density (secondary roads) download ASCII
Type 4 density (tertiary roads) download ASCII
Type 5 density (local roads) download ASCII

Country level tabular data can be found in the Supplementary Information of the article at