Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR)
As for the 2001 Census, the 2006 Census data are processed using Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) technology. Specialised computer software is used to interpret the handwriting on images taken of each page of the Census form. Once recognised, answers to Census questions are then coded to the appropriate category of the relevant classification, for example Religion, Occupation, etc.
The 1996 Census was processed using Optical Mark Recognition technology, which was not capable of processing hand-written responses.
See also Data processing.