Counting on the Cloud: Early Reflections on the Adoption of Cloud Computing by the U.S. Census Bureau

 

Counting on the Cloud: Early Reflections on the Adoption of Cloud Computing by the U.S. Census Bureau

Monday, November 22nd, 2010 - 15:13
For the 23rd time since 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has conducted the constitutionally-required, decennial national headcount in 2010.

This enterprise includes mailing out 600 million forms and marshaling a network of 1.3 million temporary employees to count over 300 million people living in 130 million households. It is expected the cost of the current census will ultimately exceed $13 billion—or about $50 per person given population estimates. Against the backdrop of the economic downturn and escalated pressure on Congress and government agencies to curtail excessive spending, the Census Bureau has worked to capitalize on technological developments to meet its mission—and save money doing it. Among the many ways in which the 2010 Census features the use of cutting-edge technology, experimentation with the use of cloud computing has attracted considerable attention.

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