Mapping the distance from urban centres

This new global map developed by the Oxford University with the support of the JRC RoadLess Forest project shows how accessible cities are to people living around the world.

“In this study, we quantify and validate global accessibility to high-density urban centres at a resolution of 1×1 kilometre for 2015, as measured by travel time.

The last global mapping effort to measure accessibility was for the year 2000, a time that predates both substantial investment and expansion of transportation infrastructure and an extraordinary improvement in the data quantity and quality of accessibility measures”, explain the authors, a team of 22.

This map is the “first-ever, global-scale synthesis of two leading roads datasets – Open Street Map (OSM) data and distance-to-roads data derived from the Google roads database ”, say the authors, adding that the study “offers a first, crucial step toward tracking exactly where gaps in accessibility remain in 2015 and where the world can collectively address the most fundamental inequalities still experienced today.” Both the code for the Accessibility to cities and the Friction surface maps are downloadable.