Some of the transportation data in The National Map comes from commercial sources, and these data are not available for download. Only the government supplied data, such as Census roads, are available for download.
Since transportation features are acquired from a variety of sources, the currentness of the data may vary by type of feature and by area of coverage.
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Review the Download user guide at 9.0 Download and Cart.
The updates are variable. Since the USGS obtains most of this data from external sources, the frequency of updates depends on the release schedule of the source products.
Data is currently available in Esri File Geodatabase format (9.3.1 or 10.1) or Shapefile.
The transportation data layers have generally been produced to be suitable for visualization at 1:24,000-scale representations. The current exception to this case is the railroads data which is primarily derived from a 1:100,000-scale source dataset.
Since the USGS is not the lead Federal agency for geospatial transportation data development, it primarily relies on data from external sources to support its requirement for transportation data as a core data set in The National Map.
Information on the transportation data product and model is available in The National Map Transportation website.
U.S. Census Bureau (roads)Oak Ridge National Labs (railroads)