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The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) inducted the U.S. Census Bureau into the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Hall of Fame in a ceremony yesterday in Portland, Ore.
The Census Bureau was chosen because of its substantial contributions to the GIS community and profession. The URISA Board of Directors and the GIS Hall of Fame Nomination Committee unanimously approved its inauguration into the hall of fame.
“The U.S. Census Bureau is honored to be inducted into the URISA GIS Hall of Fame, which recognizes the achievements of Census Bureau staff for technological innovations in making GIS data available to the nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director.
The Census Bureau's geographic work allows for a more effective collection, tabulation and dissemination of census and survey statistics. For example, the Census Bureau established TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing), a database that defines the location and spatial relationships of various census geographic areas to one another and to other map features such as streets, rivers, railroads and other geographic features. This database became the cornerstone for the Geographic Information System Industry in the 1990s, and it helps police and emergency responders develop their 911 systems and aids transportation officials in planning. The Census Bureau has also created a national housing address list, which is the basis for collecting census and survey data. In looking to the future, the Census Bureau is undertaking an initiative to improve address coverage, to update spatial features continuously and to enhance quality assessment and measurement.
For more information about the Census Bureau's geographic innovations, view this online video.