A suite of global accessibility indicators

A.D. Nelson* (Corresponding Author), Dan Weiss, Javob van Etten, Andrea Cattaneo, Theresa McMenomy, Jawoo Koo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)


Good access to resources and opportunities is essential for sustainable development. Improving access, especially in rural areas, requires useful measures of current access to the locations where these resources and opportunities are found. Recent work has developed a global map of travel times to cities with more than 50,000 people in the year 2015. However, the provision of resources and opportunities will differ across the broad spectrum of settlements that range from small towns to megacities, and access to this spectrum of settlement sizes should also be measured. Here we present a suite of nine global travel-time accessibility indicators for the year 2015, at approximately one-kilometre spatial resolution, for a range of settlement size classes. We validated the travel-time estimates against journey times from a Google driving directions application across 1,511 2° × 2° tiles representing 47,812 journeys. We observed very good agreement, though our estimates were more frequently shorter than those from the Google application with a median difference of −13.7 minutes and a median percentage difference of −16.9%.
Original languageEnglish
Article number266
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Data
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2019


  • sustainable development
  • accessibility
  • travel time
  • GIS
  • RS


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