I am seeking open data of roads for medium scaled maps (1:200.000, 1:500.000 up to 1:1.000.000). For the whole world, at least Indonesia and Africa.

I know I could use OSM streets and somehow generalize them. But for my purposes this would be too time-consuming.

  • I don't think you'll find any open data superior to OSM. When road data are open, chances are OSM have already included it.
    – gerrit
    Feb 21, 2018 at 11:11
  • I mean that I am looking for more generalized data than the OSM data. OSM road data is good for large-scaled maps. If I use that data, I have to spend a lot of time to generalize it. Feb 21, 2018 at 11:54
  • 2
    I added OSM as an answer, but can you explain what you mean "generalize"?
    – philshem
    Feb 21, 2018 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


Despite your reluctance to use OSM data, check out osmfilter, and in particular objectfilter, which is exactly designed for this purpose.

./osmfilter africa.osm --keep="highway=primary =secondary" >streets.osm

The only real challenge is having enough space for the unzipped planet.osm file (or individual continents or countries) and then running osmconvert/osmfilter on that big file. Otherwise, all the tools are ready to go.

Full data exports for Africa and Indonesia are available from https://download.geofabrik.de

To convert from osm/pbf formats, which are specific to OSM, to GeoJSON, Shapefiles, etc - check out ogr2ogr.

update since posting, I've switched from ogr2ogr to the node.js package osmtogeojson and for simple conversions I'm finding it much easier (and fast).


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