HTC Census a great success

image We have written before about the HTC smartphone being used to verify addresses prior to the massive 2010 US census. The U.S. Census Bureau 2010 has now completed its Decennial Census Address Canvassing (ADCans), involved more than 150,000 census field workers physically checking all 145 million home addresses in the U.S., relying on 151,000 of these devices.

"The operation was a great success," said Dan Weinberg, assistant director for the Decennial Census, in an interview. "The handheld computers worked well, according to all of our metrics."

There was only one major software glitch which caused some handhelds to hang if sending data wireless back to the bureau’s servers. It took a week for prime contractor Harris Corp. to create a fix, which it then pushed out wirelessly to all 150,000 handhelds.

Despite that glitch, the project started on March 30 and finished July 10, a week earlier than expected. "We were running way ahead of schedule, but we had to wait for some flooding in the Jackson, Mississippi area to dissipate," Weinberg said.

About 100 out of 151,000 of the devices were lost or stolen, Weinberg said, but due to multiple security layers (fingerprint verification, full device and storage card encryptions and the ability to remotely wipe the device) there were no concern regarding data loss.

In prior ADCans, the bureau strove to ensure that 95% of the housing units were coded to the right block.

Using the GPS-equipped handhelds, the bureau is aiming for 99.5% accuracy.

The successful completion of the project is a significant step toward its eventual goal of a true "paperless census"  an official said.

Read more at Computerworld here.

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