The Census Bureau’s Block Boundary Suggestion Program (BBSP) is underway!
Tired of oddly-shaped Census Blocks that forced the drawing of odd-shaped election districts? Do Census Block lines oddly combine cul de sac’s or opposite sides of hills? Drawing new Census Block boundaries is the solution, and BBSP is your chance to do so.
Have new roads been created and are new city blocks adding homes and population? BBSP is your first chance to get those new Census Blocks drawn for the 2020 Census.
What does BBSP allow you to do?
Using either your own GIS software or the Census Bureau’s custom GUMPS software, you can add in new streets and other geographic features; move streets geographic features that were incorrectly or imprecisely drawn for 2010; delete roads that are no longer there or that have been realigned; and create Census Block lines that will make it possible to draw post-2020 election districts that make sense for your neighborhoods, rather than as dictated by odd Census Block borders that link opposite sides of hills or unrelated cul de sacs.
But Time is VERY Short
Unfortunately the first round of BBSP is very short — the deadline for the state to submit data is May 31st! That means we need the data from cities and counties by May 27th. Note that this is only the first round: as long as a county submits ANY changes by May 27th, the County will be included in the “verification” phase that will start in December or January. And changes can be submitted in the “verification” phase even if they are not included in this initial phase.
Again, we realize time is VERY short for this work. If getting the block boundaries fully drawn before the May 27th deadline is not possible, please have your GIS mapping team contact Dr. Johnson and we will make arrangements to move the process along.
Instructions and Background Information
The Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS) detailed instructions are here at this link. The GUPS quick start guide is here at this link. And the Census Bureau’s webinar on using the software is here at this link. The webinar is very useful, but lasts about 90 minutes.
And the Census Bureau instructions on how to use your own GIS software to complete the work is here at this link.
And the full library of Census materials on BBSP is here at this link.
Software and Data
You can download the Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS) software here at this link. (Warning: it’s a 700 MB file.)
Once in the GUPS software it will prompt you to download the data for your county. But if you want to do the optional “Block Size Review,” you can download that file here at this link.
For those using your own GIS software, directions for accessing the data for your county are on page 9 and 10 (Section 2.1) of the user guide for those using their own GIS software (available here at this link). If you take this approach, please confirm that the shapefiles you download have “v2” in the file name.
How to Contact Us
The state has engaged National Demographics Corporation (NDC) to coordinate local efforts to get the BBSP work done. NDC President Douglas Johnson is leading NDC’s efforts, and you can reach him at (310) 200-2058 or djohnson@NDCresearch.com.
Again, we realize time is VERY short for this work. If getting the block boundaries fully drawn before the May 27th deadline is not possible, please have your GIS mapping team contact Dr. Johnson and we will make arrangements to move the process along. At a minimum, if you can provide us the shapefile or File Geodatabase for parcels and any new roads built since 2010, NDC will ensure that enough changes are input to ensure you can participate in the “verification” second round (which will allow considerably more time than our current 2 1/2 week window).