Census Status?

by Matt Ball on February 16, 2009

As a vital geospatial data component, the quadrennial U.S. Census of 2010 is a critical data collection exercise for spatial analysts. There have been ongoing hints that the preparations aren’t going well, including the disappointing cancellation of handheld GPS receivers in the  Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA) Program, instead going with paper-based collection.

Recent discussions of the appointment of Commerce Secretary, have highlighted problems that are ongoing with the Census preparation. Just last wee Sen. Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican was slated for the position, bu there was a subsequent withdrawal centered on who is going to control the process.

The White House has stated a strong plan to be engaged in the Census collection process, probably given it’s current disrepair. The Obama administration seems to be intent on avoiding any Katrina-like charges of incompetence.

Regardless of the appointment of Commerce Secretary, it will be nice to get someone appointed soon to  make a quick and good assessment, and to correct any issues. I’m looking forward to hearing some encouraging news soon.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dave Smith February 16, 2009 at 10:09 am

I think part of the problem is that they seem to essentially start completely from scratch with each Census. Massive opportunities lost in not using prior data and infrastructure, massive opportunities lost in not planning for future Census beyond 2010, massive opportunities lost in potential stakeholder cooperation and collaboration in not working together on master address records, and so on. And yet, an immensely vast amount of money has gone into this and will continue to go into this, for which we have (and will have) mediocre results to show.

To me, this reflects an incredible lack of vision at a high level.

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