TIGER/Line Data in the Cloud - Tom MacWright

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Tom MacWright's CrisisCamp Ignite presentation given at the World Bank.

Tom MacWright's CrisisCamp Ignite presentation given at the World Bank.

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  • Hi, I’m Tom MacWright and I’d like to talk about making Open Data useful with open-source tools and cloud computing. Specifically, I’ve been working with TIGER/line data, which is a great example of incredibly useful data that we only started to tap into
  • In the public domain and easily combined with existing data, including 200 gigabytes of Census data
  • Every school district in the country, which is keyed so you can combine it with census data.
  • Cottage industry of people selling DVDs of free data
  • Now it’s fast. You can create a new server in minutes, attach this data in minutes, and start off with ready-made servers
  • The historical problem is that slow computers and licensed data meant that there were limited, slow ways to consume geographical data
  • But we can do a lot better. Mapping in the cloud, you can put together a system that scales and performs and everyone else can learn from your progress


  • 1. TIGER/Line Data in the Cloud Making Open Data Useful
  • 2.
    • 125 gigabytes of
    • Roads, counties, school districts, census blocks, congressional districts
  • 3.  
  • 4.
    • 12+ hours to download, unzip, upload into Amazon’s Cloud
  • 5.
    • Boot up a mapping server in a minute
    • Connect the TIGER data in two minutes
  • 6. 14,000+ Districts + TIGER/line
  • 7. Federal Education Budget Program
  • 8.  
  • 9.
    • Part of a complete open-source mapping stack
    • Without restrictive licenses, distributing and reusing map information is a completely different experience.
  • 10.
    • Cloud computing means scalability, the maturity of open-source mapping software means grassroots involvement
  • 11.
    • Mapnik,
    • TileCache,
    • MapServer,
    • OpenGeo,
    • PostGIS
    qGIS, OpenLayers, Google Earth, Consumer GPS http://www.flickr.com/photos/pasma/
  • 12.  
  • 13. Infrastructure
  • 14.  
  • 15.  
  • 16. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wili/
  • 17.
    • OpenStreetMap is creating a worldwide road map
    • 141,000 new miles of African roads
  • 18.
    • 150gb “Planet.osm”,
    • 125gb TIGER/line
    • Via FTP & DVDs
  • 19.
    • USGS digital elevation data for flooding concerns
    • Population data, land cover data for health and famine crises
  • 20. Mobile East, Mississippi