Using TIGER-Based Street and Block Shapefiles from Esri
Steps 15 through 17 will acquaint you with procedures for obtaining TIGER-like files from Esri. If you choose to skip the data-downloading part of the Exercise and only do the analysis part, simply start with Step 18, where I have provided you with data guaranteed to work. In either event, you should read the material between here to Step 18.
The TIGER/Line feature files, as they come from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, are what are called “flat files.” That is, they have no hierarchy. Each file consists of a large number of records, each consisting entirely of text or numbers. Included in each record is a pair of coordinates, latitude and longitude, in decimal-degree format. Esri has taken these records and used that position information to create shapefiles that users can download for free. As you might guess the files are large, so they are zipped up. The steps that follow indicate how you can obtain them. If you are unable to download and unzip the files you can use a workaround that will be prescribed shortly.
Point your Internet browser at
Under Free Download click Preview and Download. (You may have to register.) You should see a window with a graphic of the United States. (Alaska and Hawaii will be somewhat out of place.) Select Tennessee (TN). Under Select by County pick Knox. Submit selection. Put checks by Census Blocks 2000 (1.2 MB) ...