Census tests boundaries on Web
- By Brian Robinson
- Oct 04, 2002
Open GIS Consortium
As part of a pilot program, the U.S. Census Bureau is planning to make a
Web-based system out of the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS), a manual,
paper-based system for revising state, county and local government unit
Census is sponsoring the second phase of the Open GIS Consortium Critical
Infrastructure Protection Initiative (CIPI-2), which is part of the OGC's
program to foster better interoperability among various geographic information
systems products and to produce a set of publicly available interface specifications.
Census officials hope the new system, called WebBAS, will provide a
completely online process that governments can use to file quarterly updates,
said Paul Daisey, an information technology specialist at the Census Bureau.
Such a system will allow amended results to be available in a much more
timely fashion than with the manual system, he said.
"If it all works out, we'll be able to save a lot of dollars [on the
update process] and have a better way of presenting the data to the public,"
he said. "It will also allow those places that are small enough that they
don't have any GIS expertise to update their boundary data themselves over
CIPI-2 pilot development is expected to formally begin Nov. 12, with
first public demonstrations of the resulting prototype systems to be held
by the end of March 2003.
At the same time, the Census Bureau also intends to use CIPI-2 to develop
a standards-based Web server for its Topologically Integrated Geographic
Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) data. The standalone TIGER mapping service
has been used to make Census data available to the public for the past 10
years, but its proprietary status has made it increasingly cumbersome to
use, according to Daisey.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.