Today's Deseret Morning News has an interesting article by Steve Fidel that describes the efforts by FamilySearch to create a free index to the 1900 U.S. Census. Fidel writes:
Digitizing the 1880 U.S. Census into a format searchable on computer took 18 years, completed in 1998. Digitizing the 1900 census, a project now under way, is expected to take 18 months.
Significant advancements in computer equipment and volunteers who would rather process a "batch" of records on their laptop while traveling instead of watching an in-flight movie are credited with cutting the time it takes to make records available and searchable online.
"On any given day, FamilySearch has more than 200 (digital) camera teams in more than 45 countries filming vital records," said Paul Nauta, public affairs manager for FamilySearch, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You can read the entire story at http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695209611,00.html.