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Flag of United States Part of United States mapping project.
U.S. progress animation during the TIGER import (frame images)

The Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system (TIGER) data, produced by the US Census Bureau, is a public domain data source which has many geographic features. The TIGER/Line files are extracts of selected geographic information, including roads, boundaries, and hydrography features. All of the roads were imported into OSM in 2007 and 2008, populating the nearly empty map of the United States.

However, while the import helped kickstart OSM data in the US, it also brought a plethora of problems with data inaccuracy, some of which persist to this day. Lots of cleanup has been done from the initial import. The TIGER fixup page lists things to look for when fixing TIGER data.


It is unlikely that the TIGER data ever will be imported again. Enough editing has occurred since the original upload of the TIGER 2005 data (which was not uploaded until 2007) that it will be difficult to determine if differences between future TIGER and OSM are because of good corrections made by OSM editors or from bad TIGER data. With the US mapping community growing strongly now, it isn't as much of a concern. Do not worry about getting your work overwritten by new TIGER data. Go map!

However, TIGER may be useful for analyzing differences with OSM, and for partial import and merging using tools such as JOSM. Please visit the page for the latest #Updates of TIGER data for more information.

Lots of cleanup remains to be done from the initial import. The TIGER fixup page lists things to look for when fixing TIGER data.


An import of the 2005 TIGER/Line data was completed in 2007. This was featured in a Linux.com article from January 23, 2008, titled "OpenStreetMap project completes import of United States TIGER data".

An initial run took place in 2005, but unfortunately had to be shut off, and data purged, in November 2006 due to data integrity problems. See Old TIGER Import 2005/2006 for more information. A second, successful import followed a different philosophy, and began in September 2007 using a new Ruby-based TIGER conversion script. Here is a post (Wayback Machine) describing this import in more detail. Also see the TIGER 2005 page.


The Census Bureau releases updated TIGER data annually. Check the following pages for OpenStreetMap notes regarding specific TIGER releases:

See also

External links