A press release today announced that ESRI’s ArcPad will be used as part of the Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA) project for the upcoming 2010 census, and Harris Corporation has won the $600 million, 5-year contract to develop and implement an automated field data collection system. I know there have been a number of recent reports suggesting that the Census Bureau is way behind and may not ready for the upcoming tests of the automated field collection process, but Jesse and I had a chance to visit the Geography Division of the Census Bureau back in April and got to see one of the prototype field collection units (aka PDAs with customized software). I have to say I gained a whole new appreciation for what they have to go through to upgrade the process of census enumeration to a digital format. It is truly a phenomenal undertaking and, if they can pull it off, it will be one of the most amazing achievements in the mass collection of geographic data ever.
Press Release Via GISCafeShare: