The TIGER/Line Files are shapefiles and related database files (.dbf) that are an extract of selected geographic and cartographic information from the U.S. Census Bureau's Master Address File / Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (MAF/TIGER) Database (MTDB). The MTDB represents a seamless national file with no overlaps or gaps between parts, however, each TIGER/Line File is designed to stand alone as an independent data set, or they can be combined to cover the entire nation. Face refers to the areal (polygon) topological primitives that make up MTDB. A face is bounded by one or more edges; its boundary includes only the edges that separate it from other faces, not any interior edges contained within the area of the face. The Topological Faces Shapefile contains the attributes of each topological primitive face. Each face has a unique topological face identifier (TFID) value. Each face in the shapefile includes the key geographic area codes for almost all geographic areas for which the Census Bureau tabulates data for both the 2010 Census and Census 2000. The geometries of each of these geographic areas can then be built by dissolving the face geometries on the appropriate key geographic area codes in the Topological Faces Shapefile.
U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division