Multiple Versions of TIGER/Line Files Available at ICPSR
1990-2006 versions of TIGER/Line Files are now available for download. The new Web site, TIGER/Line Files@ICPSR offers data no longer available online from the US Census Bureau. TIGER is an acronym for Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing and provides users with the appropriate data to prepare maps through geographic information system (GIS) software packages. As the Census Bureau states, “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 database 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.” The cartographic information in these files reports on all counties and statistically equivalent entities in the United States as well as files for Puerto Rico and the Island Areas. Since its inception in 1988, the TIGER Line Files have been continually improved with updated address and more precise geographic data. Researchers use TIGER data to build shapefiles that contain geographic attributes for points, lines, or polygons and are used in a variety of mapping applications. Once the shapefiles are loaded into GIS software packages, researchers can input subject matter data, such as Census population and housing information, as overlays on the maps. ICPSR has the 1990 version of these files available as well as several versions based on Census 2000 information, including the most recent second edition files from 2006. Data for individual counties can be downloaded from special map or table interfaces on the Web site. Data for entire states may also be downloaded.