Census to test handhelds next year

Census to test handhelds next year

The Census Bureau will conduct field tests next year of language assistance programs and handheld computers in Travis County, Texas, including parts of Austin, in preparation for the 2010 Decennial Census.

Census field workers will enter data directly onto handheld computers, which is intended to reduce data entry errors that can result from paper notes, Census Bureau director Louis Kincannon said today. He anticipates that if implemented successfully in 2010, the use of handheld computers will increase efficiency and reduce the total cost of data collection.

'This project is part of a multiyear testing and development process in preparation for the 2010 Census,' Kincannon said in a statement. Census chose the Austin area because it is a technology center with a rapidly growing, diverse population and a variety of housing.

Census will also test improvements to methods for counting people who reside in group quarters, including college dormitories or residence halls, hospital wards and nursing homes, and correctional facilities.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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