Full text: Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring (Pt. 1)

• The Precensus files added a “sign” to each latitude 
and longitude value to identify the hemisphere in which 
it is located — because the TIGER data base covers 
territory in 3 of the 4 hemisphere combinations on Earth! 
• Most of the other changed items will make the 
Precensus and future versions of the TIGER/Line files 
conform more to the various Federal Information Pro 
cessing Standards (FIPS) conventions that guide the 
content of geographic files in the United States. 
The Precensus TIGER/Line files are available from the 
Data User Services Division of the Census Bureau on 
magnetic tape and CD-ROM. They also are available on 
magnetic tape from many of the State Data Centers and 
some commercial software vendors. 
The Census Bureau’s price for the Precensus TIGER/ 
Line files on magnetic tape is $200 for the first county 
ordered in a state, plus $25 for each additional county in 
that state ordered at the same time. The price for the 
entire set of Precensus TIGER/Line files covering the 50 
states plus the District of Columbia is $87,450. If a 
customer also wishes to include the files for American 
Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, 
Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and 
the other areas comprising the former Trust Territory of 
the Pacific Islands, the price is $90,150. The Census 
Bureau’s price for the Precensus TIGER/ Line files on 
CD-ROM is $250 per disk; the entire set takes 37 disks, so 
the cost of the entire United States and all associated 
territories on CD-ROM is $9,250. 
Future Files 
The next version of the TIGER/Line files -- the Initial 
Voting District Codes version, which the Census Bureau 
expects to complete in October 1990 -- will contain the 
street and street name updates found by the 1990 census 
field staff -- called enumerators — who have walked 
around all the blocks in the United States carrying maps 
produced from the TIGER data base. Those enu 
merators discovered where the TIGER data base had 
errors and marked the corrections on their maps. This 
version of the file also will contain the map corrections 
that local officials have reported to the Census Bureau 
based on their use of the maps for various 1990 census- 
related programs. 
For the geographic entity user, the Initial Voting 
District Codes TIGER/Line files will include the “first 
draft” of the geographic codes for the blocks enclosed by 
the January 1, 1990 boundaries of the governmental 
entities — the official set for the 1990 census. This ver 
sion also will include the “first draft” of the codes for the 
voting districts reported by the state governments 
participating in the 1990 Redistricting Data Program 
(LaMacchia, 1989; U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1987; and 
U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1989c). 
In addition to more current information about features 
and geographic entities, the Initial Voting District Codes 
TIGER/Line files will include four new record types to 
document the point and area landmark information in 
the TIGER data base that was not included in the first 
two versions of the TIGER/Line files. This added infor 
mation will increase the usefulness of the TIGER/Line 
files for GIS applications by providing the names for 
areal features (polygons) such as lakes, wide rivers, 
oceans, major parks, military bases, and so forth. 
Because the Initial Voting District Codes version of the 
TIGER/Line file is a recent addition to the planned set 
and must be prepared during the peak period of 
1990 census processing operations, the file will be 
available only on magnetic tape and the price for each 
file will be slightly higher than the Precensus version: 
$215 for the first county in a state and $40 for each 
additional county in that state ordered at the same time. 
The Census Bureau expects to provide the fourth version 
— the 1990 Census TIGER/Line file — on both magnetic 
tape and CD-ROM at the same price as the corre 
sponding Precensus version. The 1990 Census TIGER/ 
Line files will be available beginning in January 1991 
with the last files released by the end of March 1991. For 
more information on the TIGER/Line files, contact the 
staff at the address and telephone number shown below. 
State and Regional Programs Staff 
Data User Services Division 
Bureau of the Census 
Washington, DC 20233 
(301) 763-1580 
Software 
For most data users, the quickest and easiest way to 
start using the TIGER/Line files is to obtain, from a ven 
dor, software appropriate for the specific task envisioned 
and for the computer hardware available in the office 
where the files are to be used. More than 58 vendors - 
many of whom served data users in processing the 
Census Bureau’s summary tape files and the prede 
cessor to the TIGER data base, the GBF/DIME-Files - 
tell us they have the capability to manipulate and make 
use of the TIGER/Line files. The Census Bureau has 
been conducting workshops to inform data users about 
the TIGER/Line files and other TIGER Extract products 
(LaMacchia and Tomasi, 1990), and to demonstrate 
some of the commercial software packages. 
The Census Bureau believes that the easy availability of 
the files, the low cost of the files, and the large number of 
processing systems and GIS packages available com 
mercially that use them, provide access to the power of 
this new product for nearly every potential user. 
Together with the demographic data tapes that will be 
available following the 1990 census, and the data prod 
ucts available from the 1987 economic and agriculture 
censuses of the United States, the public has received a 
wonderful return on its investment (U.S. Bureau of the 
Census 1989b and 1990b). 
SHORTCOMINGS AND UPDATING PLANS 
One of the major results of any significant new program 
— and the Census Bureau believes that the TIGER 
System is one of these - is that people develop expec 
tations of the product that far exceed the possible. The 
TIGER System has not been an exception. Thus, despite 
the tremendous accomplishment of developing this 
automated cartographic and geographic data base for 
the entire United States and its possessions, along with 
all the associated map production and other related 
processing software, some people were surprised — and 
a few were very disappointed - that it was not perfect. 
Shortcomings 
Based on reports from a small number of individuals 
using the TIGER/Line files and reviewing the Census 
Bureau’s maps, there are several categories of discrep 
ancies: the file is missing some real streets, it contains 
some streets that do not exist, it contains some incorrect 
street names and has mislabelled some streets, it is 
missing some street names, and it contains some mis 
takes in the locations of streets, other features, and geo 
graphic entity boundaries for the 1990 census. 
The Census Bureau’s original plan was to make any 
further corrections required to the features and feature 
names in the TIGER data base following the completion 
of the 1990 census. While staff knew that the maps 
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