[Talk-us] Tidying up TIGER data

Paul Johnson baloo at ursamundi.org
Thu Jun 4 15:56:56 BST 2009

Ian Dees wrote:

>     Its functions are:
>     - Strip "St" suffix from grid-named streets (eg. "South 500 West")
>     - Collapse multiple spaces into a single space (lots of TIGER)
>     - Expand abbreviated directions (eg. "S 500 E" to "South 500 East")
>     - Expand abbreviated suffixes ("Rd" -> "Road", "St" -> "Street", etc)
> - "Strip St.": is that recommended somewhere? It seems silly to remove
> data like that...

Until you go out to pretty much any city out in the desert or originally
built by Mormons.  In such cities, 90%+ of the streets are not named to
begin with, locations are purely Cartesian.  The only two streets I know
 have a name in Salt Lake City are State Street and Temple Square, and
I'm not sure Temple Square counts (I'd rather not get too close, to be
honest).  All the other ways are referred to by address, such as "450 S
700 E" would mean that the address is located four and a half blocks
south of the Mormon temple on the even side of the street, 7 blocks east
of the temple.

Interestingly enough, if you navigate to cities that have a lack of
street names, you'll see stuff like "E 2100 S St" in TIGER, even though
this is wrong!

> - "Collapse spaces": Ok, that makes sense.
> - "Expand abbreviated dirs": This is the one that I have the most
> problems with. In my neighborhood in Minnaepolis, the official names for
> roads actually end in SE. For example, I live on 6th Avenue SE. I've
> seen several different representations of this, but when I ask several
> different mail carriers and some GIS folks at the University there, they
> all said that "SE" is the official name, not "southeast".

I could be wrong on this, but I've been making an exception for
cardinals myself, using the same logic behind NOT using abbreviations
for everything else.  I honestly can't think of any other common
abbreviations that would prevent a

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