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2010 Census Geography & 2020 Census Planning. Michaellyn Garcia Geographer Seattle Region. 2010 Geographic Products. Released: 2010 TIGER/Line Shapefiles (via FTP or Web interface) 2000 Tab Block to 2010 Tab Block Relationship files (txt files)

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2010 census geography 2020 census planning

2010 Census Geography&2020 Census Planning



Seattle Region

2010 geographic products
2010 Geographic Products
  • Released:
    • 2010 TIGER/Line Shapefiles (via FTP or Web interface)
    • 2000 Tab Block to 2010 Tab Block Relationship files (txt files)
    • PDF maps: Tract Reference Maps, County Block Maps, Voting District/School District maps, Total population and pop change maps
    • http://www.census.gov/geo/www/2010census/
upcoming boundary changes
  • Boundaries updated as a result of 2010 Census data:
    • Urbanized Areas/Urban Clusters/Rural Areas

(Oct 2012)

    • Public Use Microdata Area (PUMAs)

(Fall 2012)

    • 113th Congressional District Maps

(Feb-May 2013)

    • Core Based Statistical Areas (Metropolitan Areas) (Jul-Aug 2013)
downloading geographic data files
Downloading Geographic Data Files
  • ESRI ArcGIS format
  • www.census.gov
  • Click “Geography”
  • Click “2010 Census Geographic Products”
  • Scroll down to “2010 TIGER/Line Shapefiles” and click
  • Download either by type of geography (through web interface or FTP site)
  • Or by State (FTP only)
  • Program that allows State, Local and Tribal governments to challenge the census count for their jurisdiction if they believe there was an error due to:
    • Incorrect Boundaries
      • Undisputed legal boundaries on or before January 1, 2010 incorrectly delineated or reported
    • Geocoding
    • Coverage Issues (related to processing errors)
  • The Census Bureau requires specific documentation to review and accept CQR cases.
  • The submitted challenges must specify whether the challenge disputes the location of a governmental unit boundary, the location or number of housing units and/or group quarters counts in one or more 2010 census tabulation blocks, or both.
  • Maps must identify the state, county, 2010 census tracts, and 2010 census tabulation blocks associated with the challenge.
  • Address lists of housing units and/or group quarters located in the challenged areas are also required in a specified the format.
  • Challenges must be submitted by the Highest Elected Official (HEO) or designated representative
  • June 1st 2011 – June 1st 2013 (postmarked)
  • Submit either electronically or by mail:


Count Question Resolution Program

Decennial Management Division

U.S. Census Bureau

Washington, DC 20233

cqr questions
CQR Questions
  • Website:


  • Please call or email the CQR program at:
    • 301-763-9329
    • dmd.cqr@census.gov
  • Or call the Seattle Regional Office at:
    • 206-381-6300
2000 2010

Major Multimillion $ Modernization of TIGER

2000 2010

2010 2020

Geographic and Address List Maintenance, Continual Updating and Integration

2020 Goal: Reduce estimated run-away cost by improving addresses continually throughout the decade


2000 2010

Major Multimillion $ Modernization of TIGER


geographic improvements for the 2010 census
Geographic Improvements for the 2010 Census
  • Complete Realignment of the Census Bureau’s Geographic Database (TIGER)
    • Moved from “Relative Accuracy” to GPS Positional Accuracy (7.5m spatial accuracy or better)
    • So that GPS Coordinates for Housing Units would Geocode to the correct Census Block (95% confidence)
maf tiger accuracy improvement project mtaip
MAF/TIGER Accuracy Improvement Project (MTAIP)
  • Obtained GIS files from local partners
    • Generally county, state, tribal or regional planning officials
  • Files were evaluated for completeness and spatial accuracy
    • Evaluated against TIGER and imagery for completeness
    • Spatial accuracy tested
  • Also obtained the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) from USGS
    • High resolution 1:24,000 used in most places
tiger issues post mtaip
  • Comprehensive USGS hydrography created numerous zero population small blocks
  • No clear policies on capturing dual carriage, road medians, driveways, cul-de-sacs (etc) from the local file during the realignment.
  • Resulted in inconstancies in how these features are represented and attributed across government boundaries and added to the creation of numerous zero population small blocks.
pre mtaip legacy tiger line 2000
Pre-MTAIP Legacy TIGER/Line 2000

City of Kent

King County Washington

post mtaip tiger line

Realigned to King County’s file


Realigned TIGER


comparing data and or assessing change
Comparing Data and/or Assessing Change
  • The 2010 Census Geographic Boundary Files currently maintain the topography of Census Boundaries from Census 2000
  • To compare data or geography between 2000 and 2010, you must use the 2000 and 2010 geographic layers from the downloadable 2010TIGER/Line files.
  • The following Census 2000 boundaries have been realigned to 2010 Geography:
      • American Indian Areas (aiannh)
      • Block Groups (bg)
      • The 108th Congress Congressional Districts (cd108)
      • Counties (county)
      • County Subdivision(cousub)
      • Places (place)
      • School Districts (unsd)
      • State Legislative Districts (sld)
      • Tabulation Blocks (tabblock)
      • Tracts (tract)
      • Voting Districts (vtd)
  • Annexations/Incorporations/Boundary Changes that occurred after Census 2000 will be represented as they were on Census Day in the 2010 TIGER/Line Shapefiles. Previous benchmarks will not be topologically corrected.

2010 2020

Geographic and Address List Maintenance, Continual Updating and Integration

2020 Goal: Reduce estimated run-away cost by improving addresses continually throughout the decade.

improving the master address file maf
Improving the Master Address File (MAF)
  • In conducting the 2010 Census, our primary sources for address updates:
    • USPS Delivery Sequence File (DSF)
    • Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA)
    • Field updates
  • For FY 11 and beyond, additional sources will focus on best available data from government partners and commercial files


the g eographic s upport s ystem initiative
The Geographic Support System Initiative
  • What is it?
    • A funded initiative through 2015 for improving the addresses in our Master Address File
  • Why is it important?
    • A response to stakeholder and oversight recommendations to update and maintain our address and spatial data with a special focus on rural areas, group quarters and Puerto Rico
  • What does it involve?
    • An integrated program of improved address coverage, continual spatial feature updates, and enhanced quality assessment and measurement through partnerships
  • Who are the major players?
    • US Census Bureau with federal, state, local and tribal governments

Ongoing GSS Teams

Teams comprised of Census Bureau staff and other federal agencies (USGS, NOAA NGS, USPS) were formed to address specific aspects of the GSS Initiative

  • Project and Contract Management
  • Policy
  • Research and Development
  • Quality, Assessments/Evaluations
  • Address Coverage and Sources
  • Feature Coverage and Sources
  • Partnerships
  • MAF/TIGER Integration/Linkage
  • Geocoding
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
a shift in focus for the 2020 census
A Shift in Focus for the 2020 Census
  • From a complete address canvassing to a targeted address canvassing
    • Hinges on establishing an acceptable address list for each level of government
  • What defines “acceptable” will be a partnership collaboration between government partners and the Census Bureau

Maintaining Our Feature Network

  • Continuous update of street network and attributes through the development of localized partnerships
  • Sources will focus on best available data from government partners and commercial files
  • Extensive use of imagery
    • Source for spatial data
    • Used for data verification
    • Used for data quality assurance
thank you


Michaellyn Garcia

Geographer (Washington Primary Contact)


Wendy Hawley

Geographer (Idaho & Alaska Primary Contact)


Seattle Regional Office