Now the government of Brazil plans to conduct a census using handheld computers and wireless data but there will be two major differences: (1.) Brazil plans to use off-the-shelf consumer-grade cell phones to collect the information and (2.) Brazil also plans to spend a lot less money.
Brazil purchased 150,000 LG smartphones and has embarked on the world's first fully digital national census. The Brazilians say that the digital census has several advantages over paper and pen methods. Data collection will be faster and cheaper than traditional methods. Information will be available within weeks, not months.
The LG smartphones also have built-in GPS which will result in more accurate information as GPS data will pinpoint the exact location of each household. The GPS data is cross-referenced with satellite images to ensure that responses are correctly geo-tagged.
You can read more at http://pbahra.com/2010/08/29/brazils-smartphone-census/
A slide show is available at http://pbahra.com/work/brazils-2010-digital-census/