I’m a print guy. Three newspapers (NYT, WSJ, WPost) land on my driveway each morning. We subscribe to a bunch of magazines (Fortune, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Economist). I’m reading Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Freedom, and while it’s hefty at 562 pages, I have no desire to read it on a Kindle or iPad.
The earth would probably be better off if I read my newspapers, magazines and books in digital form, but I spend too much time as it is looking at screens.
Fortunately, others are doing better at transitioning from print to digital media. One example: the government of Brazil, which is in the midst of completing an all-digital census. It’s a big project–with an estimated 201 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth most populous nation, behind China, India, the U.S. and Indonesia–but one that will not only be good for the environment, but improve the accuracy of the count and show off Brazil’s growing IT sector.
I wrote a story about Brazil’s census for News@Cisco, a website that includes stories about technology by outside contributors as well as news and press releases produced by the giant technology company. Here’s how the story begins:
What comes to mind when you think of Brazil? Beaches, Rio or the Amazon? Soccer, perhaps? Probably not information technology. But Brazil’s technology know-how is on display this fall as the country undertakes its first all-digital, fully-networked census.
It’s a massive undertaking. Between August and November, about 225,000 census takers will poll about 58 million households—many living in overcrowded cities, others scattered in some of the world’s most remote places. Each census taker will carry a handheld personal digital assistant, about the size of a smart phone, equipped with GPS technology. Data will then be uploaded to a national broadband network, and posted on the website of the Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).