Topics include reference maps, interactive maps, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data.

Reference Maps

Interactive Maps

The Census Bureau offers numerous interactive mapping tools. A select few are discussed below.

TIGERweb is a web-based application for viewing Census geography in an interactive format. Users can zoom to an area of interest, turn geographic layers on and off, and identify features.

Census Explorer allows data users to create thematic maps for a range of topics including demographics, socioeconomics, commuting and retail for states, counties, and census tracts. Data are available from the 1990 and 2000 Census as well as recent American Community Survey estimates. The maps can be embedded but are not available for export or printing.

Census Data Mapper allows data users to create county-level thematic maps for a selection of variables from the 2010 Census. The maps can be exported to a PDF.

GIS Data

The data files discussed here require the use of a GIS application such as ESRI’s ArcMap or QGIS.

The Census Bureau’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) products provide the public with spatial data for use in GIS.  TIGER shapefiles do not include demographic data, but they do contain GEOIDs that can be joined to demographic data downloaded from American Fact Finder. Download TIGER/Line Shapefiles here.


A limited set of TIGER/Line Shapefiles are available with selected data items in a geodatabase. Download TIGER/Line with Selected Demographic and Economic Data here.


The National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) at the University of Minnesota provides access to historic and current geographic boundaries.  Users are required to register, but then may freely download data. Go to the NHGIS.


The KyGeoNet is Kentucky’s clearinghouse for geospatial data resources.  A variety of datasets can be located and downloaded, static map products can be viewed, and many web mapping applications and services are easily accessible. Search the Kentucky Geoportal.