GEOG 160
Mapping Our Changing World

6.11 TIGER, another TIGER, and the Future Going Forward


We’ve discussed how MAF/TIGER data have been used, improved, and relied upon for many projects, ranging from census data collection to geocoding and navigation. MAF/TIGER data are continuously being created, and projects related to developing and using the MAF/TIGER database are a major focus of the US Department of Transportation (USDOT).

As part of President Obama’s Build America: A 21st Century Infrastructure budget plan, $476 billion has been allocated for a six-year goal that includes improvements to surface transportation, such as motorways, runways, and passenger rail. This sum is separate from an initial $50 billion that was set aside for job creation related to the expansion of surface transportation (, 2012).

Money provided by the President’s budget is being used by USDOT to fund several grants related to another kind of TIGER program – Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery. Secretary of USDOT, Ray LaHood, stated on his official blog:

From roadways to help reduce costly bottlenecks to transit choices that help commuters save on gas and freight rail upgrades that improve safety and efficiency, America needs a 21st century transportation system capable of supporting our 21st century economy. An America that's built to last needs transportation that's built to last (FastLane Blog, 2012).

Following through on these claims, LaHood and USDOT have announced several rounds of multi-million dollar grants that are being awarded to projects that extend America’s transportation potential and stimulate transportation-related job growth.

Building new roads or rails requires new entries to the MAF/TIGER database and a wide array of jobs for surveying, measuring, analyzing, and coding the updated information. Each of these activities relies in whole or in part on the geospatial technologies and methods that you have read about in this and previous chapters.

Practice Quiz

Registered Penn State students should return now take the self-assessment quiz about TIGER.

You may take practice quizzes as many times as you wish. They are not scored and do not affect your grade in any way.