I am trying to get a list of all ~11 million 2010 census blocks' internal points (latitudes and longitudes assigned by the census to be used as approximate locations for each block). I can't for the life of me find these anywhere without downloading the entire polygon geodatabase! I finally broke down and downloaded that, but at ~6 petabytes, I don't have the storage to unzip and work with the file. Does anyone know of a source for internal points ONLY before I whip something up to download and process each geodatabase by state or county?

  • Why do you think such a dataset exists?
    – fgregg
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 16:43
  • 1
    fgregg, I should have mentioned that flat files with basic information including internal points are distributed for lots of census geometries as "Gazetteer Files". The Census website does not link to a Gazetteer file for census blocks, but in the past I have found third party websites, such as NHGIS and Social Explorer, that distribute data not easily retrieved directly from the Census.
    – logan
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 17:04
  • are these sometimes referred to as crosswalks?
    – albert
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 17:33
  • pretty sure i found it, but its not 11 million records. where/why do you think its 11 million?
    – albert
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 17:43
  • Thanks, Albert. I got 11.155 million from the wikipedia article on census blocks (that includes PR). I looked through the crosswalk/relationship file descriptions and didn't see columns for internal points. What have you found?
    – logan
    Commented Sep 26, 2016 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


the intptlon and intptlat fields of the census bureau's summary files contain the center of every census block nationwide. there's some pretty straightforward R code to download and import these files here:


  • 1
    Thank you! I didn't expect the SF1 file to have geographic information and this is smaller/faster than downloading Tiger files.
    – logan
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 21:46

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