Census closes offices, scanning centers

As the Census Bureau moves into the next phase of "serious number crunching," it has closed 520 offices that gathered data for last year's head count and has shut down its three data-scanning centers.

"We have taken down the whole data communications tree for 520 offices," said J. Gary Doyle, systems integration manager for the agency.

The data-screening centers — in Pomona, Calif., Baltimore and Phoenix — used state-of-the-art technology developed by Lockheed Martin Corp. to read computer forms electronically.

The offices are no longer needed as the Census Bureau moves into the next phase of its decennial operation.

"We're in the middle of serious number crunching," Doyle said.

The Census Bureau released its first piece of information Dec. 28, showing the U.S. population at 281.4 million. But there is much more to come, Doyle said. The Census computers at Suitland, Md., contain five terabytes of storage with unedited data. The bureau's Web site offers a schedule for the release of this data in various formats.

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