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Archive for the 'TIGER' Category

Old TIGER Data Still Available

Now that TIGER has officially moved to the shapefile format, the only TIGER data left in the previous format available on the Census website is the 2006 Second Edition data, and that’s likely to disappear at some point in the future. GIS@Vassar links to an announcement at ICPSR that they have TIGER data in the original format from 1990-2006 archived for download here. Convert it to shapefile format with the free version of tgr2shp, or to KML with tgr2kml.

A Look At OpenStreetMap's TIGER Data Exported To A Garmin GPS

Rich at GPS Tracklog cites OpenStreetMap’s recently-completed importation of the TIGER road data for the US, and challenges me to take a look at exporting it to a Garmin GPS (based on this post, I assume). OK, sure.

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Convert TIGER Polygons To KML Files

Bruce Ralston, author of the free TIGER to shapefile conversion utility tgr2shp, has a new program called tgr2kml that converts US Census TIGER file polygons (but not points or lines) into KML files. It works on TIGER files from 1994 to 2006 Second Edition (future TIGER data will be issued directly in shapefile and web formats).

First select the TIGER files you want to process (they can be in zipped format):

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USAPhotoMaps: Additional Capabilities

In addition to its primary function in retrieving, displaying and exporting TerraServer imagery like USGS topo maps and aerial imagery, USAPhotoMaps has some handy additional capabilities. I’ll talk about the GPS functions in another post, but here are some other useful functions available in USAPhotoMaps:

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Freeware GPS Road Navigation Software

Haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but RoadNav is an open source GPS Road Navigation program that uses TIGER data to generate street maps and turn-by-turn directions, gives verbal commands, and doesn’t require an Internet connection. Also runs on Linux and Mac OS X, in addition to Windows. I usually drive alone, and it’s a *really* bad idea to use a PC-based road navigation program as the driver, so I don’t know when I’ll get around to it. If anyone tries it out, please let me know how it works for you.

Addendum from the comments: Check out this SlashGEO posting for links to other freeware road navigation solutions.

TIGER Is Moving To Shapefile And Web Formats

Not too long ago, I posted about a free US Census TIGER to shapefile converter that works with older TIGER files, with the TIGER 2006 1st edition, and will be updated to work with the 2006 2nd edition TIGER files. Just found out that it won’t have to be updated to deal with future versions. Upcoming editions of TIGER will be issued in:

  • Shapefile format
  • WebTIGER, a Web Feature Service (WFS)
  • Web Mapserver (WMS), delivering data in raster graphic and SVG format

See the Census web page on “The Future Of TIGER/Line” for more info. No more paying $399 for TIGER data and the data converters.

Converting US Census TIGER Data Into Shapefiles For Free

The U.S. Census Bureau produces TIGER/Line vector data files (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing). From the Census Bureau’s TIGER overview:

“The TIGER/Line files are a digital database of geographic features, such as roads, railroads, rivers, lakes, legal boundaries, census statistical boundaries, etc. covering the entire United States. The data base contains information about these features such as their location in latitude and longitude, the name, the type of feature, address ranges for most streets, the geographic relationship to other features, and other related information.”

These TIGER files are updated yearly, and contain some of the most current digital data for US streets and addresses. Most GIS programs can’t open TIGER vector files, and ESRI only has free TIGER data in shapefile format for the year 2000. Now a TIGER-to-shapefile converter that used to be a paid commercial program has been released as open source software, free for any use, along with a number of other useful TIGER and Census demographic data utilities.

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