Frequently Asked Questions
What are Federal Databases?Several categories of federal databases are maintained on a variety of topics of interest to transportation professionals. These categories include human travel data, socioeconomic and demographic data, employment data, freight and trade data, spatial data and GIS, environmental data, safety data, and performance data. This version of the CD-ROM focuses on three categories of the above categories: employment, spatial, and freight and trade. Other efforts are focusing on the remaining databases.
These databases are developed by several federal agencies, including the Department of Transportation (Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Transit Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the Department of Commerce (Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of the Census), the United States Geological Survey, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) plays a major role in coordinating the development, maintenance, and distribution of federal databases related to transportation. This CD-ROM is the result of a BTS effort to make federal databases more accessible to transportation professionals.
Who should use this the material presented in the CD-ROM?The CD-ROM is designed to be used by transportation professionals at the state and local levels. It is intended to be used by practitioners in all modes to serve a variety of data needs. Typical applications include: long-range highway planning, airport planning, intercity bus transportation, commuter rail, intercity rail, economic development, freight rail planning, corridor planning, air quality studies, port planning, transit planning, travel demand modeling, transportation demand management, traffic forecasting, transportation finance, environmental impact statements, pavement management, land use, bridge planning, safety studies, hazardous materials routing, and oversize/overweight permitting.
The CD-ROM is also useful for students and researchers of transportation.
How would I use the information presented here?The CD-ROM can be used in several different ways. Individuals wanting general information on federal databases should read the overview for each database category (employment, spatial, and freight and trade) as well as the introductory material for each database of interest. Those requiring documentation on specific tables and data fields are encouraged to consult the data dictionary sections of the appropriate databases. And persons wishing review how these databases have been used, or could be used, by transportation professionals should read the sections on applications, examples of uses, and potential uses of the databases.