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U.S. Census American FactFinder Team Receives Vice President's Hammer Award

American FactFinder lets users gain access to exactly the data they want for a specific geographic location via a simple interfaceThe Census American FactFinder team was recently presented with Vice President Gore's Hammer Award. In the spirit of reinventing government, the Hammer Award provides recognition to teams of federal employees and their partners whose efforts result in government that works better and costs less. The award honors the team chosen by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1996 to help build the Data Access and Dissemination System (DADS), which became an Internet site known as American FactFinder. The team consists of IBM as the system integrator for the project, Oracle Corporation, Esri, and Census Bureau staff.

The American FactFinder Web site (factfinder.census.gov) is the result of the project team's effort to create a special tool and capability for accessing census data. The Web site is powered by IBM parallel supercomputers, Oracle database capabilities, and Esri Internet Map Server (ArcIMS) and ArcSDE technology and provides users the ability to search a large and growing repository of demographic and economic data covering more than 100 million U.S. households and more than 20 million U.S. Businesses. American FactFinder also generates customized maps for users to visualize census data searches for specific regions.

"The objective of American FactFinder is to let users gain access to exactly the data they want for a specific geographic location via a simple interface," says Gerry Clancy, manager of Esri's Business Solutions Group.

The team was able to accomplish the requirements of the project and, at the same time, embody what the Hammer Award represents. Hammer Awards go to teams who have shown large impacts on customer service, bottom-line results, streamlining government, saving money, and exemplary achievements in government problem solving.

"This is an excellent example of how e-Business can increase public access to government while reducing costs. Instead of plowing through volumes of data, individuals and Businesses can log onto American FactFinder and quickly search data for a specific region," said Kenneth Thornton, general manager, IBM Public Sector.

American FactFinder users can now access data from the Census 2000 dress rehearsal, the 1990 census, the 1996 and 1997 American Community Survey (ACS), and the 1997 Economic Census. In early 2001, the data from Census 2000 will be available in American FactFinder.

For more information, contact Dana Leipold, Esri (tel.: 909-793-2853, ext. 1-1443; e-mail: dleipold@esri.com).

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