Wireless PDA to be utilized for field data collection during 2010 US...

Wireless PDA to be utilized for field data collection during 2010 US Decennial Census


USA, 3 January 2007 – Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company, has successfully demonstrated a unique wireless PDA that will be used by 500,000 census takers — helping to create the first virtually paperless
census in 2010.

The wireless, handheld device is a key component of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA) programme that will ultimately save taxpayers $1 billion.

Harris demonstrated the census PDA recently before a group of 50 Census Bureau employees that included the agency’s Director, Louis Kincannon. Harris was selected earlier this year for the five-year, $600 million FDCA programme, which will fully integrate the multiple automated systems required to efficiently and securely obtain field census data for the 2010 Decennial Census.

Automated collection and management of field data will enable a virtually paperless census for the massive address canvassing and non-response follow-up operations, and is critical to delivering a census ‘where everyone counts.’

The recent demonstration showed the successful operation of the FDCA handheld computer — an element of the FDCA Mobile Computing Environment — over the Sprint network. Sprint is part of the Harris FDCA team, providing telecommunications services for the program. The Harris FDCA team is on track to deliver 1,400 of the handheld units that will be used for the spring 2007 address update operations, and also has completed the production readiness review for the 500,000 handheld units that will support the 2010 Decennial Census.

The FDCA handheld computer will maximize the efficiency and productivity of more than 500,000 enumerators during the 2010 Decennial Census. It is designed with a level of usability, security and reliability that will enable enumerators to collect and process field data much more efficiently than ever before.

Traditionally, census field data collection was handled primarily through paper address lists, maps and questionnaires, resulting in high labor costs and numerous other challenges due to the magnitude of the labor-intensive data collection processes. For the 2010 Decennial Census, the Census Bureau will use automated systems, such as the wireless handheld computer, to directly capture information collected during interviews, reducing the need for paper-based processing while increasing operational efficiency, improving accuracy and reducing costs.

In 2002, Harris also was selected for an eight-year, $210 million program to integrate the Census Bureau’s Master Address File (MAF) and Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) databases as part of the Bureau’s Accuracy Improvement Project (MAF/TIGER AIP).