Life Before the World Bank: Creating ROMDAS

May 18, 2020

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In March 2020 we had a reunion in Auckland of my old team who worked with me during the first 35 years of my career. It was a real blessing and honour for everyone to be together again and lots of lost memories were shared. It was suggested that I should document the history of ROMDAS over its inception until I joined the World Bank in 2003. So this is my attempt at telling the story of a small but very talented team who developed a great solution to collecting and managing data on roads, at the same time indulging our inquisitive natures and having fun. I used the Covid-19 lockdown for a walk down memory lane—warning: it’s a long post!

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Nabin Pradhan, Paul Hunter, Chris Bennett and Zuwei Deng

The evolution of ROMDAS can best be summarized through the figures below. We went from a simple device connecting a single roughness meter to a hand held or personal computer, to a comprehensive integrated system collecting data on the full range of essential road attributes.

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1990 – 95

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2003

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