2006 Census Output Strategy
The ABS is currently undertaking consultation with users about the strategy for the development and dissemination of 2006 Census products and services. The information paper ABS Views on Census Output Strategy (cat. no. 2009.0) outlines the proposed strategies and seeks readers views on them.
The next Census of Population and Housing, to be held on 8 August 2006, will be the largest peacetime operation ever undertaken in Australia. Despite advances in technology it still takes a relatively long time to process the millions of responses. It is expected the processing phase will begin in late August 2006 and last for approximately 12 months.
It is proposed that a range of new Internet products be developed to better cater for the varying levels of sophistication and experience amongst census data users. Novice users will be able to easily access basic data for their local area, while more experienced users will have greater flexibility in selecting and defining tables of data that better meet their needs. Many products will now only be available via the Internet and most will no longer be produced by the ABS on CD-ROM.
CDATA Quickbuild-style functionality will be delivered on the ABS web site, providing clients with basic mapping functionality. The ABS does not intend to develop a full GIS version of CDATA 2006. Instead, ABS licenced intermediaries will be responsible for meeting the demand for this type of product by marrying census data to a GIS engine and supplying it to users. As such, intermediaries will be responsible for all development, marketing, sales and support for their software. As in 2001, clients can also choose to purchase a data only CD-ROM from the ABS and use it within their existing database or GIS systems.
It is also proposed that the range of printed publications be reduced to a single publication, containing data for each census topic accompanied by commentary, analysis, and where appropriate, thematic mapping of the data.
This proposal is a significant shift in direction for the delivery and content of CDATA and the ABS is keen to ensure the proposed strategy is the best response to user needs.