There is an urgent need for a free, improved, and well-documented global roads data set among professionals working in the humanitarian response,
development, transportation, biodiversity conservation, and allied fields. As a first step towards addressing this gap, CIESIN's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) organized a workshop on global roads data from
October 1-2, 2007, at the Lamont Campus of Columbia University. A major
outcome of the workshop was a strategy paper that describes the steps
required to develop and maintain an improved, public domain (i.e.
free-of-charge restricted to attribution only) global spatial roads data
set. After the development of the strategy paper, a consortium of groups,
led by International Council for Science's Committee on Data for Science and
Technology (ICSU-CODATA) Global Roads Data Development Working Group,
developed this digital, public domain global road map under the name Global
Roads Open Access Data Set (gROADS).