Pitney Bowes Business Insight on Census 2010

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Industry News
Pitney Bowes Business Insight on Census 2010
By Susan Smith

Thomas G. Exter, Chief Demographer at Pitney Bowes Business Insight, Data Development spoke with GISWeekly this past week on Pitney Bowes-MapInfo's role in the Census 2010. The company has a full suite of Census-based demographics, including census data, current estimates and five-year projections. Find out how this year's Census differs from previous census-taking methods, and what the big trends are.

GISWEEKLY: What is the Pitney Bowes Business Insight Census product and what does it do?

We have a full suite of Census-based demographics, including census data, current estimates and five-year projections. Our demographic data team has consistently produced this data for the United States since 1998, for Canada for more than 30 years, and for the United Kingdom and Australia for more than five years. We are making extensive preparations to adapt to a short-form only U.S. 2010 Census, the results of which are due out for small area analysis in the spring of 2011. Our efforts include: incorporating more household-level information; developing highly accurate geocoding processes to geocode all U.S. addresses - both occupied and unoccupied; and working with high-value variables like household income, from extensive consumer databases.

In terms of “what the data can do,” we integrate our data into two long-standing desktop and online offerings for customer analytics, site location research and marketing analysis. These accomplish such standard tasks as customer geocoding, geo-demographic segmentation analysis and extensive site reporting for custom trade areas and the like. These delivery vehicles are AnySite and TargetPro as well as AnySite Online. Our data is also available for the new PBBI enterprise platform - Spectrum - where the data is available for all manner of Customer Communication Management tasks among others.

We are also moving aggressively to offer our data via a “Data as a Service” platform in various cloud environments.

GISWEEKLY: Where does PBBI get its data from?

PBBI data is developed from multiple sources, including but not limited to Census data. As a “full-service” demographic data provider, we offer comparable products with the likes of Nielsen-Claritas. Our delivery vehicles (both on demand and on premise) and analytics for multiple industry verticals are extensive and evolving rapidly.

GISWEEKLY: What is difference about Census collection for 2010 than for the previous Census taking?

The key difference is the Census Bureau's transition to the use on the ongoing American Community Survey in lieu of the long-form census sample data. We have a white paper on this topic.

GISWEEKLY: What trends do you see that are notable such as a change in where people are choosing to live, the choices of different age groups, ethnic groups, etc?

As you know, the 2010 Census results are a once-in-10-years data refresh for significant consumer demographic trends in the United States. We have recently offered a preview of 2010 Census results in the aforementioned white paper - “What the 2010 Census Will Show.”

GISWEEKLY: Are there different ways of gathering information employed by your product?

We are adjusting to the lack of a long-form census, which hitherto contained much of the most useful census variables like household income, educational attainment, employment by occupation and industry, and so forth. We are moving to more use of extensive consumer database intelligence to maintain our annual and quarterly update processes.

GISWEEKLY: With regard to trends, any thoughts on why certain trends are occurring?

Some of this is discussed in the paper, “What the 2010 Census Will Show.” The reasons behind these trends are demographic but also social, cultural and economic as you imply in your question. Our focus has been more on what implications the consumer demographic trends have for business decision-makers not so much “what is behind the trends” other than the basic demography.

GISWEEKLY: Is there any aspect of geospatial that makes Census this year easier, more efficient, cost effective?

The Census Bureau is essentially and increasingly in the geospatial and GIS space. The TIGER files are increasingly accurate. The use of GPS devices this time around should avoid the location errors of Group Quarters in the 2000 Census, and so forth in terms of Census collection processes. We are a significant processor and end-user of census data.

Pitney Bowes has always been in the geospatial business, primarily desktop mapping and geocoding. We are now applying these and newer technologies to the many emerging opportunities that will drive Pitney Bowes revenues in the future. Needless to say, these are exciting times for our company.

What the 2010 Census Will Show
The Coming Demographic Data Revolution

Top News of the Week

ERDAS announced the release of ERDAS APOLLO on the Cloud, a new cloud-based data management and delivery solution. ERDAS APOLLO on the Cloud provides a simple entry point into the geospatial server world.

Available immediately to customers in the USA, this solution is ideal for GIS users that want a quick server implementation with elasticity. ERDAS APOLLO on the Cloud is ideal for organizations that have limited IT infrastructure and expertise, yet still want to web-enable their large volumes of geospatial data. This solution is also a good alternative for users requiring a geospatial server solution on an intermittent basis or for a one-time project.

Two years in development, Carlson Software's Surveyor+ GPS System is now available. It's the lowest priced, most flexible solution of its kind for accurate, RTK data collection from either cellular-based reference stations or base-to-rover systems.

This dual frequency RTK GNSS receiver and field controller comes with Carlson's Surveyor+ data collector with its full keyboard, a GSM modem, GNSS board, pole, antenna and additional accessories. The “form factor” is compact with no bulky receiver on the pole and the unit can be used with total stations as well. For those who already own a Carlson Surveyor+ data collector, the RTK engine can be added at any time, making the system fully scalable.


On 6 July 2010, Hexagon AB entered into an agreement to acquire US-based software provider

Intergraph Corporation.


  • Hexagon acquires Intergraph, a global provider of enterprise engineering and geospatial software
  • Cash purchase price of 2 125 MUSD on a cash and debt free basis
  • The acquisition will further strengthen Hexagon's position as a world leading measurement technology Group. Significant synergies are expected to arise from the transaction
  • The acquisition is fully financed via bank facilities. Hexagon intends to pursue a rights issue corresponding to 850 MUSD as soon as practically possible following completion of the acquisition

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that it has acquired a minority interest in Charlotte, N.C.-based BLUERIDGE Analytics, Inc., provider of SITEOPS - breakthrough site design optimization technology that utilizes cloud computing to save substantial time and cost while improving land development outcomes. SITEOPS, a patented web-based application, empowers civil engineering professionals, real estate developers, and land planners to quickly perform site configuration simulations, produce preliminary cost estimates, optimize site designs, and reduce overall costs. The conceptual designs are compatible with DGN, DWG, LandXML, and other file formats, so they can be easily exported into software such as Bentley's MicroStation, Power InRoads, and Power GEOPAK for final design work. Among owner-operators and retailers benefiting from SITEOPS' many capabilities are Lowe's Companies, Inc. and Target.

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