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Innovations FAQs

How does the census help keep me from getting lost?

To aid in collecting data during the 1990 census, the Census Bureau developed the "Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing" (TIGER) system. Using the U.S. Geological Survey's maps, TIGER added additional information (roads, rivers, railroads, etc.) to create maps that are the basis for the global positioning systems many drivers have on the dashboards of their automobiles.

checking maps
A Census Bureau employee verifies the accuracy of census maps in 1950.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Census History Staff | Last Revised: October 21, 2014