TIGERweb provides an API for the 2000, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2015 US Census geographies. Does the Census (or someone else) provide an equivalent API for the 1990 geographies anywhere?


All the TIGER data that exists is listed on this page, or on the Census' FTP server. Most of it is available as shapefiles and geodatabases rather than as an API. If you really need an API, there do exist some tools for working with this data -- for example, you can use the open source Nominatim project to serve edge data in an API for geocoding.

Unfortunately, it looks like the only TIGER data available for 1990 is the 1990 Cartographic Boundaries and the 1992 TIGER/Line files (not 1990, but close enough?).

You might also try looking at data available from NHGIS -- they provide tons of historical data similar to the TIGER datasets.

  • Yeah, unfortunately I don't think there is an API for this data. You could try the Nominatim tool I mentioned in my answer if you just need geocoding data, or you could investigate setting up your own simple API with the data downloads. For example, if you converted the data to CSV you could just quickly set up an instance of mira to serve the data in an API format. Otherwise I'm not sure how much luck you're gonna have getting an API unfortunately. – Hayden Schiff Oct 27 '16 at 16:37

The NHGIS offers an API for some of the 1990 geographies:

Various city and state governmental departments offer block group and block geographies. So far, I have not found any that offer national coverage.

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