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(ESRI Shapefiles and related POP and AREACODE .dbf tables with ArcGIS 9x LYRs)
The political boundary datalayer is a 1:25,000 scale datalayer containing the boundaries of the 351 communities (cities and towns) in Massachusetts. The seaward boundary of coastal communities has been defined at mean high water in this datalayer. In ArcSDE are the layers TOWNS_POLY and TOWNS_ARC.
Also available is the layer TOWNS_POLYM, which contains multi-part polygons, or one record for each of the 351 municipalities. This layer may be useful in analyses using 1-to-1 joins on the TOWN_ID field.
Note that the 351 communities are the official municipal names, not including "villages" or other sections of towns. The Secretary of State's office has prepared a web page listing the Unincorporated and Unofficial Names of Massachusetts Communities. Also see the List of Town Numbers and Names and Towns Index Map file size 6MB , useful when downloading data distributed by town or as a general reference.
MassGIS has developed a newer, more accurate layer based on surveyed town corner points, Community Boundaries (Towns) from Survey Points.
This datalayer, except the coastline, was digitized by MassGIS from a set of stable based film prints of the 1:25,000 7.5' quadrangles purchased from the USGS by the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Works. The coastline was taken from the USGS 1:100,000 hydrography DLG database. It was selected visually and appended to the digitized town boundaries.
The TOWNS_POLYM layer was created by dissolving the 631 polygons in TOWNS_POLY on TOWN_ID, producing a multi-part polygon feature class with 351 features, one for each municipality.
Items in the polygon attribute table:
ITEM NAME WIDTH TYPE ALTERNATE NAME Contents TOWN_ID 3 I MASSGIS-TOWN-COD MassGIS Town-ID Code (alphabetical, 1-351) TOWN 21 C TOWN-NAME City or town name FIPS_STCO 5 I FIPS-ID Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) State/County Code CCD_MCD 3 C CENSUS-TOWN-CODE US Census Town Code FIPS_PLACE 5 C FIPS-TOWN-CODE Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Town Code POP1980 6 I CEN-POPULATION80 US Census Town Population: 1980 POP1990 6 I CEN-POPULATION90 US Census Town Population: 1990 POP2000 6 I CEN-POPULAT2000 US Census Town Population: 2000 POPCH80_90 5 I POPCHANGE_80-90 Population change, 1980-1990 POPCH90_00 5 I POPCHANGE_90-00 Population change, 1990-2000 FOURCOLOR 1 I Codes (1,2,3,4) allowing shading of all towns using 4 symbols (based on four-color theorem, where no adjacent polygons have same symbol) TYPE 2 C C = City, T = Town, TC = Town with City form of government ISLAND 1 I Polygon is (1) / is NOT (0) an island - many towns are composed of many polygons FIPS_MCD 8 I FIPS+CEN-TOWN-CO FIPS State & County & Census Town Code concatenated FIPS_COUNTY 3 I COUNTY-CODE FIPS County only code
The layer's arc attribute table contains an item added called OUTLINE, which enables differentiation of line type (e.g. dashed lines inside the state and solid for the outside). OUTLINE codes are:
1 = Interstate boundaries
17 = Internal boundaries (a dashed line in the MassGIS default lineset SW16)
4 = Coastline
ARC/INFO Annotation has been added to the coverage. Level 1 places town names within the town boundaries while levels 2 and 3 place annotation along town boundaries.
The following tables may be joined to the Massachusetts Towns polygon layers on the TOWN_ID field:
- TOWNS_POLY_AREACODE [download dBASE file as self-extracting .exe] stores telephone area codes for each municipality and reflects the addition of four new "overlay" codes in Massachusetts which took effect on April 2, 2001. For more information on the Commonwealth's area codes, see Verizon's Area Codes Lookup Web page.
ITEM NAME Contents TOWN_ID Town ID - Relates to TOWN_ID in TOWNS_POLY and TOWNSSURVEY_POLY attribute tables AREACODE Town Area Code (413, 508/774, 617/857, 781/339, 978/351)
- TOWNS_POP [download dBASE file as self-extracting .exe] stores population estimates for each city and town, as of July 1, from 2000 to 2007. Data are from the U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division.
ITEM NAME Contents TOWN_ID Town ID - Relates to TOWN_ID in TOWNS_POLY and TOWNSSURVEY_POLY attribute tables JULY1_2000 Population estimate on July 1, 2000 JULY1_2001 Population estimate on July 1, 2001 JULY1_2002 Population estimate on July 1, 2002 JULY1_2003 Population estimate on July 1, 2003 JULY1_2004 Population estimate on July 1, 2004 JULY1_2005 Population estimate on July 1, 2005 JULY1_2006 Population estimate on July 1, 2006 JULY1_2007 Population estimate on July 1, 2007
MassGIS maintains this datalayer. Plans are underway to replace the USGS source linework with linework developed from survey coordinates of town corners. In addition, a 1:5,000 coastline would added to the revised layer.
The FOURCOLOR item was added to the attribute table in March 2002.
In August 2002, the TYPE item was added, based on information available from a map on the Secretary of State's Web site (http://www.sec.state.ma.us/cis/cispdf/City_Town_Map.pdf). In addition, the TOWN attribute value for Gay Head was changed to "GAY HEAD (AQUINNAH)" to reflect that town's name change to Aquinnah. MassGIS will keep the TOWN-ID as 104 so that the existing numbering scheme will remain intact.
In October 2002, the attribute table was modified to include population figures (total and change) based on the 2000 U.S. Census. Also at this time the arcs were modified to include OUTLINE code 4 and to correct a small section of the Florida-Savoy border.
In September 2009 TYPE was changed to 'TC' for Braintree, Palmer, Randolph and Winthrop.
Last Updated 9/23/2009