planetary street dataset

I want to make maps of artefacts of the anthropocene. You guys can join in too if you want! The first artefact I am starting with is the roads of the planet. ESRI’s arcglobe has a highway data set and I’ve used it to produce something already (see bottom of post)

I am wondering if it is possible to download JUST the roads that are in OpenStreetMap for me to use in this project? If so, how do I do it? Extracting it as a shape file would be optimal, but presumably FME can be used to convert it if it’s a different file type. Alternatively, does anyone know where I can get a comprehensive (i.e. planet wide) roads dataset for free?

What I’ve done so far:

anthro roads.

Other artefacts of the anthropocene that i’m considering are street lights (NASA has a nice image of this already), other forms of infrastructure like powerlines/railways… to the global river network symbolised by level of human control (i.e. locks etc).

AFAIK there is no OSM based dataset that only contains the street data you want.

So I would suggest that you try to download raw OSM data that is also available as shape file (also

To get a start y should try to download firstly a small area like one single county, NOT the whole planet.

Then you have to filter out all data elements that you don’t need.

Have a look at

Ask here for more details if you have success with the first steps …