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Census: Geography

Guide to using the United States census products to find historical, genealogical, geographical, and statistical information.

General Works

Maps and Mapping Resources

Geographic Programs of the Census

The Census Bureau works with tribal, state, county, and local officials, as well as coordinating agencies such as regional planning commissions to implement a number of programs designed to review geographic information.

TIGER Products

The TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencng) system 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. They are the public product created from the Census Bureau's TIGER database.

Note that these files are not graphic images of maps, but rather digital data describing geographic features. To make use of these data, you must have mapping or Geographic Information System (GIS) software that can import TIGER/Line data.

With the appropriate software, a user can produce maps ranging in detail from a neighborhood street map to a map of the United States. Many local governments have used the TIGER/Line data in applications requiring digital street maps. Also, the private sector has used TIGER/Line data to create products that produce maps for government, business and the general public.

LandView® 6

A viewer for the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Geological Survey Data and Maps. 

LandView has its roots in the CAMEO software (Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations). CAMEO was developed by the EPA and the NOAA to facilitate the implementation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. This far-reaching law requires communities to develop emergency response plans addressing chemical hazards and to make available to the public information on chemical hazards in the community.

This product contains both database management software and mapping software used in the CAMEO system to create a simple computer mapping system involving two programs - MARPLOT® and LandView.

The MARPLOT mapping program allows users to map Census 2000 legal and statistical areas, EPA Envirofact sites, and USGS Geographic Names Information (GNIS) features.

The LandView database system allows users to retrieve Census 2000 demographic and housing data, EPA Envirofacts data, and USGS GNIS information. The GNIS contains over 1.2 million records which show the official federally recognized geographic names for all known places, features, and areas in the United States that are identified by a proper name.

Note: At this time there are no plans to create a new Landview product using later Census data. CAMEO - Marplot from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Circular Area Profiles from the Missouri Census Data Center can provide some of the functionality of Landview and have more current data.

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