US Census Bureau using aerial tech to help with 2020 count

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Census Bureau is using new high-tech tools to help get an accurate population count next year as it faces criticism for the way it plans to reach out to people of color.

Census employees are taking images captured from satellites and planes to verify addresses in rural communities and compare them to previous maps from 2010.

It comes as the bureau is planning internet and telephone questionnaires, which advocates say would be more likely to overlook rural areas without reliable communication infrastructure.

Deirdre Dalpiaz Bishop of the bureau’s geography division says employees check the data through computers and then plan how to send staff to hard-to-reach areas if census questionnaires aren’t returned.

City University of New York Mapping Service director Steven Romalewski calls the technology promising.

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