What's the point of all the TIGER tags?

Posted by compdude on 22 July 2011 in English (English)

I was wondering why there's so many TIGER-related tags on roads uploaded via the TIGER import in the US of A. A lot of them seem to have little purpose, and the only ones that seem to have any chance of survival in life (i.e. won't get deleted by me) are the tiger:county=* tag and the tiger:reviewed=* tag. There's also the tiger:separated=* that I'm wondering about it's purpose.

Could someone more knowledgeable than I answer these questions?
- What's the point of the TIGER tags?
- What's the tiger:separated=* tag for?

Thank you.

Comment from 42429 on 22 July 2011 at 22:29

- tiger:separated indicates whether it is a divided road.
- If all roads in North America were reviewed manually, TIGER tags would be unnecessary.
- If no roads in North America was reviewed manually, TIGER tags would be necessary in order to import a newer version.
- Given that a small part of North American roads was reviewed manually, it is technically impossible to update TIGER automatically.

Comment from Peter Dobratz on 23 July 2011 at 00:42

Generally, if I have to significantly change the connectedness or the name of a road, then I just delete all the TIGER tags. If I just need to expand the abbreviations in the name, then I just delete the tiger:reviewed tag and leave the other tags.

Comment from Tom Layo on 23 July 2011 at 14:28

Finally, some discussion of this. I have been aligning and editing TIGER data for some months now. The sole value of this data base is the names of roads. Everything else is useless. If I draw a bridge based on Bing, I delete everything below 'tiger reviewed', because it is not based on tiger. When I redraw and city, it is largely based on Bing, not tiger. I haven't been deleting tiger tags, but am always tempted....

The chance that there will be another tiger upload is slim. Our data is now better than anything the gov can make, given their financial condition. It is more likely that they will use our data. They would be stupid not to. Portland, OR uses OSM now, because the mapping company they had been using wanted $100k per year. Other cities will follow, if the data is worth a damn. In many areas it isn't.

But it is not so hard to correct. Pick a city, trust the aerial (if there is a problem I haven't found it yet, and the tiger map is much worse in every case}, and realign the roads. Move the POI to somewhere near where they should be, and this map will be something!

Comment from mwbg on 24 July 2011 at 17:57

What on Earth is TIGER ? I've seen loads of these and thought these comments would answer that, but all the respondents all seem to know what it means !


Comment from compdude on 25 July 2011 at 02:37

For all those who are wondering what TIGER is:

TIGER is an import of all the roads in the USA. It's public domain and is used by the government for collecting census data. However, it is REALLY inaccurate and requires some tedious work to align the roads to satellite imagery (this is called TIGER fixup). For more info and a complete description, see and

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