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The Norwegian directorate for nature management publishes a map of wilderness showing how far away a particular area is from heavy technical interventions, such as roads, electricity lines, hydro lakes, etc. This provides a quick overview as to where one can get far into the wilderness. I like it a lot.

Is anyone aware of similar maps for any other countries or regions?

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Sounds like a nice idea, but unfortunately doesn't seem to work with Chrome. – berry120 Aug 16 '12 at 15:43
See also this page from the national forest system – gerrit Feb 3 '13 at 21:07
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The USGS Fort Collins Science Center published the following map of the conterminous United States in 2005:

Wilderness map

It has been published as a factsheet with a PDF (that can be zoomed for more detail):

Watts, R.D., R.W. Compton, J.H. McCammon, C.L. Rich, and S.M. Wright. 2005. Distance to the nearest road in the conterminous United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2005-3011. 2 p..

See also this reddit post.

There is also a project for a global roadless areas map that can be viewed in Google Maps (Windows & Mac only) and perhaps Google Earth.

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The USGS link at least appears to be broken. – Michael Kjörling Mar 22 '13 at 12:29
@MichaelKjörling It works for me. – gerrit Mar 25 '13 at 20:48
It does indeed seem to be working just fine now. I don't know what was going on before. Sorry. – Michael Kjörling Mar 26 '13 at 10:03

That's actually a very difficult question to answer, since there's a lot of ambiguity about what's a "road," etc. Some geographers in Alaska tried to tackle a similar question here, in an Alaska Dispatch article.

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Übercool would be an interactive map where one can toggle categories and the map would fill areas with colours based on the distance to those structures. Should be possible to build based on OpenStreetMap! – gerrit Sep 10 '12 at 8:20

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