US Census Bureau

TIGER Mapping Service
The "Coast to Coast" Digital Map Database.


Background and General Information

The main purpose of the TIGER Map Service project is to provide a good-quality, national scale, street-level map to users of the World Wide Web. This service is freely accessible to the public, and based on an open architecture that allows other Web developers and publishers to use public domain maps generated by this service in their own applications and documents. We planned to provide high-quality street maps, with simple GIS capabilities such as point display (by lat/lon or address) and statistical choropleth mapping.

The TMS has come about for two main reasons:

  1. There is a demand from many users and developers on the World Wide Web for easily-accessible street-level and regional maps for places in the United States, whether for general viewing, research and analysis, usage in interactive map-based services, or inclusion as illustrations in documents. The Census Bureau, as the nation's only maintainer of a national public-domain street level database, was the most obvious candidate as a provider of such a service.
  2. The U.S. Census Bureau, as a federal government agency, is required by the Freedom of Information Actto provide the information it gathers freely on a cost-recovery basis. While this is currently being done using CD-ROM technology, the Bureau was interested in finding ways to disseminate its geographic and statistical data more efficiently at less cost to the public. This interest is spurred by the recommendations of the National Performance Review, which are being implemented in the Bureau by the DIAMOND team. While research into Internet-based dissemination of Census statistical data is being done in conjunction with Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, this project represents an effort to make the Census geographical data more accessible and more useful.
This project was begun in August 1994, with a simple prototype finished in October of that year.

For current information about TMS, see the Future features & goals page.


If you have feedback, please check out the Mapsurfer Feedback page.
If you have questions, please check out the service FAQ page.

Grrr! TIGER Map Service Home Page.

Last Revised: Friday, 12-Sep-97 13:39:25