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Page 1 - Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA): Frequently Asked Questions

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You may also view 2020 Census LUCA Operation Frequently Asked Questions from the U.S. Census Bureau website

Q: Who do I contact for help with LUCA?

A: You can contact the U.S. Census Bureau with questions regarding LUCA, call 1-844-344-0169 or email geo.2020.luca@census.gov. The U.S. Census Bureau New York Regional Geography department can be contacted at 1-212-584-3430 or by email new.york.geography@census.gov. Assistance is also available from Cornell Program on Applied Demographic staff at this e-mail padInfo@cornell.edu, Bob Scardamalia (RLS Demographics) at Bob@rlsdemographics.com or The New York State Data Center at nysdatacenter@labor.ny.gov.


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Q: What is the role of Regional Planning Commissions?

A: Since Regional Planning Commissions are non-governing organizations, the Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) cannot participate directly in LUCA, unless authorized by a functioning government.

Please note, the RPCs will only be able to work with the U.S. Census Bureau's Master Address File (MAF) data if the individual RPC staff are designated by the government entity and registered with the U.S. Census Bureau (including a signed confidentiality agreement).

Other than participating by reviewing the MAF, the Regional Planning Commissions can support LUCA by encouraging elected officials to participate, and providing local knowledge and technical assistance.


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Q: While reviewing the Census Bureau's address list, if the LUCA participant notices multi-unit address records are missing and need to be added, but the local source does not clearly define the individual unit (sub-address) information, how should the participant proceed?

A: All reasonable effort should be taken to provide the actual sub-address information. Without individual unit information for multi-unit records, the Census Bureau will not be able to process the record for inclusion in the 2020 Census.


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Q: While reviewing the Census Bureau's address list, if the LUCA participant believes the sub-addresses of multi-unit records are incorrect, but their source does not include the actual sub-address, how should the participant proceed?

A:

If the participant does not have a local source that identifies the actual sub-addresses, they should not edit the address records in question.


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Q: How much time and money should a municipality expect to spend on the LUCA review?

A:

It will differ for each locality depending on the geographic area, number of addresses, and technical resources available, but you can expect that the effort will be substantial.

Resources are available for help with the LUCA process:

  • The Council on Children and Families is:
    1. coordinating a series of webinars to assist localities with the LUCA process;
    2. providing linkages between localities conducting the LUCA and student interns who can assist with LUCA activities; and
    3. extending technical assistance, which is provided by Robert Scardamalia, former NYS Chief Demographer.
      Contact Bob at: bob@rlsdemographics.com.
      Visit the Council's website for complete information.
  • The Cornell Program on Applied Demographics (PAD) website has a tool to compare the differences between the housing units as counted during the 2010 Census and the number of residential addresses in the 2017 Master Address File (MAF)
  • Contact the New York Data Center at nysdatacenter@labor.ny.gov and/or
    the U.S. Census Bureau at geo.2020.luca@census.gov or 1-844-344-0169.

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Q: What data sources have you found most useful in building your address file?

A: Street and Address Maintenance (SAM) Program data, Real Property data, and 911 address files.

(This will be updated as we get more suggestions.)


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Q: What are some challenges with using utility files?

A: Utility files may not identify multiple units. Multiple entrances may not equal the number of apartments. In addition, there may be an extra entrance for “common areas” such as the cellar, hallways, etc.

Also, utility files can have two sets of addresses, the owner address and the dwelling address.


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Q: Are there any tutorials or demonstrations available for Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS)?

A:

There are some recorded webinars as well as some upcoming workshops and trainings:


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Q: Is the GUPS for LUCA the same as the GUPS for the Boundary Annexation Survey input?

A: No it is not the same, a separate application is being created for LUCA.


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Q: What software will LUCA reviewers use for validation of addresses?

A: Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS). GUPS is based on an open-source platform known as QGIS. It is a customized geographic information system (GIS) provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The software is not available yet, but there is a demonstration that can be watched at this link:
https://census.webex.com/census/lsr.php?RCID=805ef5d40bb6617ce189d6d10a18ab25


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Q: Will the Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS) autocomplete street names?

A: It will not autocomplete. You will, however, have ability to import your address list (in .CSV or .txt format) and match your fields to the Census Bureau's address fields.


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Q: Has the Census Bureau prepared guidelines that may be provided to an MIS or IT Department regarding the level of security required to use the GUPS?

A: The New York Regional Office is getting more specific guidelines. In the interim, Confidentiality and Security Guidelines booklet D-2004.pdf, specifically Section 4.1, outlines the basics of what the U.S. Census Bureau asks a government IT Department to do to secure the Title 13 data and applies to both the GUPS option as well as the Digital option. For more assistance contact the LUCA helpdesk at 1-844-344-0169.


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Q: What is the hierarchy of LUCA submissions, does one local entity get priority over another when there is a conflict in submissions?

A: There is no hierarchy to the LUCA submissions. The U.S. Census Bureau will process each submission individually.


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Q: Does the U.S. Census Bureau provide reasons when addresses that local entities submit are rejected?

A: The Census Bureau will be providing Feedback to partners that participate in LUCA. The Census Bureau will provide feedback codes for each action, as well as the list of addresses the Census Bureau will be including for enumeration.


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Q: Should we submit a partial LUCA review?

A: Yes, submit any address corrections that you have, even if you were not able to do a complete review.


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Q: What layout should be used for address updates sent to the Census Bureau?

A:

The file layout that should be used is located here https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/partnerships/luca/Stateside_ElectronicAddressList_LegalValues.pdf


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Q: Should military bases be included in what we provide for LUCA?

A: No, military group quarters are included in a separate enumeration process, do not include them in your updates.


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Q: If your area has more than 300,000 addresses can you still use GUPS by breaking the addresses into smaller lists?

A: Yes, you can parse your addresses into smaller lists before bringing them into GUPS. Instructions will be available on the Census website.


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Q: When will the 2020 Census Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA) Respondent Guide be available?

A: The guide will be distributed along with the LUCA material, it will not be available ahead of time. It will also be posted on the Census Bureau web-site around that time, no specific date is available.


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Q: Do you have a recommendation for the security protocols to use for storing and accessing the data on air gapped computer or networked computers?

A: The U.S. Census Bureau provides a Confidentiality and Security Guidelines booklet D-2004.pdf, specifically Section 4.1, outlines the basics of what the U.S. Census Bureau asks a government IT Department to do to secure the Title 13 data and applies to both the GUPS option as well as the Digital option. For more assistance contact the LUCA helpdesk at 1-844-344-0169.


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Q: How do you find the entity ID for the municipality that goes in the upper right hand corner of the LUCA Registration form?

A: For questions regarding LUCA, call 1-844-344-0169 or email geo.2020.luca@census.gov. The LUCA Help Desk staff is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

If you’d like to identify it yourself, follow these steps:


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Q: If there is an occupied RV on the property of a housing unit, should they be added? How should they be identified?

A: They should be added, they could be identified as a non-city style address.


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Q: How should motels with long term occupants be handled?

A: They should be counted as an address. In certain circumstances where there is oversight at the motel they should be counted as group quarters.


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Q: Can GUPS handle multiple users?

A: No. You can make copies of it and have different users work on separate areas, but the files with the updates will have to be combined into one before submission to the U.S. Census Bureau. Only one submission file will be accepted.


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Q: Can shape files such as street segments be added to GUPS?

A: Yes, GUPS can do anything a geographic information system can do.


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Q: If there are new streets in your jurisdiction do you need to add them?

A: No, you can update street segments but are not required to.


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Q: Do you need Python to use GUPS?

A: No you don’t need Python to use GUPS.


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Q: Can the non-Title 13 shape files provided with GUPS be used separately outside of the GUPS application?

A: No, they cannot be separated.


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Q: Will GUPS match addresses provided by the U.S. Census Bureau to the local list?

A:

No, GUPS cannot perform address matches. You can visually identify differences from the map spots or use the block address count analysis in GUPS. You could export the addresses into Access or Excel and do your own address comparison. Some with more advanced GIS skills have discussed doing spatial joins on the addresses.


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Q: Do you need GIS skills to use GUPS?

A: No, GUPS is designed for those without GIS skills. Nationwide support in using the application will be available or you can contact the New York Regional Office for assistance. Call the Geographic Programs Support Desk at 1-844-344-0169 or email geo.2020.luca@census.gov. The New York Regional Geography department can be contacted at 1-212-584-3430 or email new.york.geography@census.gov.


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