New Historical Data: Reconstruction of 1950s Global Road Network Using American Army Maps

This paper presents a new historical road network data set, capturing conditions in 1950 and covering large part of the world. Its generation is documented in detail, its features are reported and Nigeria is employed as an example of a geographical information system used to generate historical travel times. This exercise should serve as a starting point for further (historical) transport studies. The main sources of this data set are former US Army Map Service (AMS) maps and a range of historical statistics. As far as the authors can ascertain, such comprehensive and detailed historical transport data has not been available until this point, but it now enables examination of various historical and current transport-related research questions using spatial and time-variant data. The purpose of this paper is: first, to introduce this historical road network data and to position it in the existing literature and research tradition; second, to explain how the network was generated; third, to present the authors' approach to model historical speeds and travel times and; fourth, show how to use such information by applying it in the Nigeria case study.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ABG50 Transportation History. Alternate title: New Historical Data: The Reconstruction of 1950’s Global Road Network Using American Army Maps
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Fuhrer, Raphael
    • Axhausen, Kay W
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2015


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01551570
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 15-3145
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 27 2015 11:23AM