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                                  “Our goal is for them to be able togoandtakealookandtrytouse that list to identify areas where we may be missing housing units,” said Brian Timko, the 2020 cen- sus coordinator for the Census Bureau’s Geography Division. “If there was a new subdivision that was built that we don’t have the addresses for, they can use these block count tools to determine, outside of the Title 13 environ- ment, where we may be missing addresses.”
Title 13 requires the bureau to ensure the confidentiality of census information, including in- dividual addresses and structure coordinates that identify the loca- tion of living quarters.
About 10,950 governments reg- istered to use LUCA for the 2020 census — almost 28 percent of the invited governments. “We actually have 96.9 percent of the popula- tion and 98.6 percent of the hous- ing covered by at least one LUCA participant,” Timko said. “This in- cludes42statesthatareregistered to participate, and that’s up from 28 states in the 2010 LUCA.”
Concerns about undercounts in the 1990 census led to the Census Address List Improvement Act of 1994, which authorized the bureau to implement LUCA. The technol- ogy was part of the 2000 and 2010 censuses, but a new element for 2020 is the bureau’s Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS), a self-contained geograph- ic information system tool that lets participants load, display, and edit geospatial and address data.
“We’re seeing better-quality data come in because the GUPS soft- ware dictates the format that the data comes back to us in,” Timko said. GUPS allows state and local governments “to standardize the data so that when we get the data back, we know it’s in the right for- mat and it passes all our validity checks.”
The bureau sends the software to participants, and after they load it onto a computer, the software will prompt users for the Title 13 address data disk and the MAF/TI- GER shapefile disk. Next, partici- pants enter a password to be able to work with the encrypted data. GUPS, whose core function is Py- thon code built on the open-source QGIS platform, decrypts the data so users can edit it.
“The GUPS software maps their data so they can just select ad- dresses from their address list and easily add them to our address list for the LUCA updates,” Timko said.
GUPS is a stand-alone system that does not connect to any bu- reau networks or servers, said Monica Mardel, GUPS project manager. “The participant submits \\\[data\\\] via what we call the Secure Web Incoming Module, so it’s a separate system and it’s a secure way for the participants to deliver their files to the Census Bureau,” she added.
Other governments are taking ac- curacy into their own hands. New York Block Browser LUCA Evalu- ation System (NYBBLES) from Cornell University’s Program on Applied Demographics, for ex-
ample, uses address lists based on real property data to get esti- mates of the number of residen- tial units per parcel. ”
“The Census Bureau was willing to generate a count of housing units for each block in preparation for LUCA, and with my experience of the real prop- erty data, I can do a similar count based on the real property data,” said Jan Vink, extension associate for the Cornell program. Compar- ing those two could “find blocks \\\[where\\\] the Census Bureau might be missing some addresses.”
Assessors populate a local database with the information that they submit to the state once a year. NYBBLES also re- lies on parcel maps, which show places independent of the data- base and which the state Depart- ment of Taxation and Finance collects from counties. NYBBLES analyzes the data to come up with estimates for each parcel and block.
“I put all the data in an online database and created a web inter- facetodisplayandmakethedata publicly available,” Vink said.
NYBBLES contains information on all areas of New York state ex- cept New York City, which does its own count.
Other states could benefit from a NYBBLES-like system, he added. The real property data fields and other aspects would have to be customized, but the basic frame- work is shareable.
“The local knowledge is very important for accuracy,” Vink said. “There’s only so much you can do at the state level.” •

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