Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)


Data Science


Dan Runfola

Committee Members

Jennifer Swenson

Alexander Nwala


Roads exist as a physical and theoretical connection between people and places around the globe. In addition to providing a route from one point to another, roads are also an indicator of access to markets and of poverty. However, current road datasets, particularly the Global Roads Open Access Data Set, are out of date or incomplete, necessitating new sources of data for analyses involving road networks. This study explores the relationship between climate change and access to markets in Nepal. We seek to identify isolated communities that are likely to experience detrimental outcomes associated with environmental threats, such as increasing temperatures and unpredictable precipitation. To implement this analysis, we first construct a novel pipeline to retrieve and analyze road data from Open Street Map (OSM). The output of this pipeline is a gridded product that includes information, for each grid cell, on the total travel distance and time to the closest market. By comparing this road data with future environmental change projections, we identify communities that are both geographically isolated and at risk due to impending climatic shifts. This study reveals the high vulnerability of the northwestern region of Nepal, specifically the Karnali province, due to the lack of road access and the extreme climate impacts Nepal is likely to experience in the coming decades. Our study suggests the benefits of applying this vulnerability analysis at a global scale.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.