Note: This page describes an obsolete version of GPSBabel that may substantially differ from the current or development version.

U.S. Census Bureau Tiger Mapping Service (tiger)

This format can...

  • read and write waypoints

This format has the following options: nolabels, genurl, margin, snlen, oldthresh, oldmarker, newmarker, suppresswhite, unfoundmarker, xpixels, ypixels, iconismarker .

The U.S. Census Bureau provides online mapping facilities. This format is described at: tiger.census.gov. Do notice that this format is not the actual Tiger line mapping records, but rather the interface to their online mapping program.

nolabels option

Suppress labels on generated pins.

This option tells GPSBabel to not generate labels on the pins. If this is true, the description of the incoming waypoints are ignored and not placed on the pins.

genurl option

Generate file with lat/lon for centering map.

genurl is a convenience option for generating the scaling paramaters when accessing the Tiger servers. It will output the latitude, longitude, height, and width parameters in a form suitable for use in the URL to generate a map that will hold all the points to be displayed and is suitably scaled and centered.

For example:

gpsbabel -i geo -f geocaching.loc -o tiger,genurl=tiger.ctr -F tiger.dat

may create tiger.ctr with


After uploading tiger.dat to a public server, a request to

 http://tiger.census.gov/cgi-bin/mapgen?murl=$THATFILE$(cat tiger.ctr)

will return a gif file from the tiger server that's suitably scaled.

margin option

Margin for map. Degrees or percentage.

This option specifies a margin around the maps for the genurl options. The margin may be specified in either decimal degrees or as a percentage.

This option is most useful for ensuring there is adaequate space for the label around the markers when generating automatically scaled maps.

snlen option

Max shortname length when used with -s.

The snlen option controls the maximum length of names generated by the '-s' option. It's particularly useful in Tiger maps to avoid the amount of clutter generated by potentially lengthy labels on the markers.

oldthresh option

Days after which points are considered old.

This options allows you to control the threshold in days between whether a pin is considered "new" (and thus potentially governed by the 'newmarker' option) or "old" (and thus potentially governed by the 'oldmarker' option).

oldmarker option

Marker type for old points.

This option specifies the pin to be used if a waypoint has a creation time newer than 'oldthresh' days.

The default is "redpin".

newmarker option

Marker type for new points.

This option specifies the pin to be used if a waypoint has a creation time older than 'oldthresh' days.

The default is "greenpin".

suppresswhite option

Suppress whitespace in generated shortnames.

When set, this options tells the '-s' smartname generator to not allow any spaces in the labels generated for markers.

unfoundmarker option

Marker type for unfound points.

Specifies the icon type for unfound geocaches. Default is "bluepin".

xpixels option

Width in pixels of map.

The xpixels argument lets you specify the number of pixels to be generated by the Tiger server along the horizontal axis when using the 'genurl' option.

ypixels option

Height in pixels of map.

The ypixels argument lets you specify the number of pixels to be generated by the Tiger server along the vertical axis when using the 'genurl' option.

iconismarker option

The icon description is already the marker.

This options signifies that the icon in the incoming format is to be used without change in the generated Tiger output file. Without this option, GPSBabel tries to color pins based on their creation time and certain Geocaching traits when available.