TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing) is a geographic dataset created by the U.S. Census Bureau for use in GIS (Geographic Information System) applications. The TIGER dataset consists of a large collection of digital geographic maps, which are used to represent and store geographic data.

TIGER maps are built from a variety of source data types including land use, road network, population, hydrology, soils and administrative boundaries. These source data are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and is maintained annually. The TIGER dataset has been continuously updated since its introduction in 1990 and continues to be improved for use in GIS applications.  

TIGER maps are primarily used to symbolize the geographic features found in aerial photographs and satellite images. The data is considered to be an industry standard for geographic information systems and is used by both public and private agencies. TIGER is also used to generate digital orthophoto maps, digital elevation models and street address databases.

TIGER data are available to the public for free from the U.S. Census Bureau and is highly requested for its detail and accuracy. The data can be used for a variety of uses such as route planning, site selection, digital mapping, and emergency response. In addition, most GIS software packages are compatible with the TIGER dataset.

Examples of TIGER's uses include:

• Mapping Road Networks: TIGER's comprehensive road network data is used to map out roads, directions, and turn restrictions in order to create efficient route planning solutions.

• Digital Mapping: TIGER's aerial images of the United States can be used in the creation of digital maps.

• Site Selection: Some businesses use TIGER data to measure the potential success of a potential location.

• Emergency Response: Emergency services use TIGER to develop response plans and routes.

• Land Use Planning: TIGER data is used to assess land uses, such as retail locations, agricultural land, conservation areas, etc.