NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS (USA) - The Census Bureau has tasked Caliper Corporation to develop software to be used by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to define traffic analysis zones (TAZs) based on Census geography. The TAZs are used to tabulate the transportation data and journey-to-work flows from the American Community Survey.
The TAZ software is an extension of the MAF/Tiger Partnership Software (MTPS), which is based on Caliper's Maptitude GIS software. MTPS has been used by over 40,000 state, local, and tribal governments to enhance the Census Bureau's Master Address File (MAF) and the TIGER geospatial database of roads, legal and administrative boundaries, and geographical area reporting units for Census and survey data. These updates are essential for the success of the 2010 decennial population census and related activities such as political redistricting, the allocation of federal funds, and the publishing of Census data.
The software will implement the TAZ Delineation Business rules that were prepared by the Census Bureau’s Geography Division, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The rules can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ctpp/tazddbrules.htm. The MPOs and the state DOTs will build the TAZs from the 2010 census blocks. This new geographic layer will then be added to the Census Bureau's TIGER file, and the TAZ definitions will be used for the CTPP 5-year tabulation.
The software module will be easy to use and will assist the user in definition, review, verification, and correction of the TAZ submittals. The software will perform edit checks to verify that the submittal meets all of the necessary requirements and will produce the output files in the correct format for Census use. The software will be distributed free of charge to designated users.
Caliper is a leading developer of mapping, redistricting, transportation, and GIS software, including Maptitude®, Maptitude for Redistricting, TransCAD®, and TransModeler®. Caliper software is used by more than 70,000 users in over 70 countries.