When your descendants look you up in the 2010 census, they won't have to decipher the writing of some census taker in need of sleep and opposable thumbs. A Florida company has won a contract to automate the process.
In the past, census employees -- many of them temporary workers hired specifically for information-gathering -- went door-to-door with paper address lists, maps and questionnaires.
With the new systems, census-takers will use small computers that are wirelessly linked to nearby vehicles that will upload the data to central offices, updating statistics in near-real-time, and getting that data integrated from other sources. Previously, the process could take hours or days. [Link]Lockheed Martin was tasked last fall with creating a system to process census data from households via the Internet, telephone, and snail mail. The Census Bureau estimates that, with all this new technology, the chance of them spelling your name wrong will drop to 78%.