Census Bureau launches 2010 Census Road Tour Across Nation ‘Portrait of America’ Vehicles.

The 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour set out today from New York City’s Times Square, launching a cross-country interactive experience designed to increase awareness and encourage participation in the nation’s once-a-decade population count.

During the next four months, the tour will be part of the largest civic outreach and awareness campaign in U.S. history — stopping and exhibiting at more than 800 events nationwide. From local parades and festivals to major sporting events like the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four, the Census Bureau will attempt to motivate America’s growing and increasingly diverse population to complete and mail back 10-question census forms when they arrive in mailboxes March 15-17.

“The Road Tour seeks to educate and empower every person living across our country to take part and participate in the 2010 Census,” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. “Attendees at Road Tour events will learn about the census, how it affects their local communities and even share their personal stories about why the census is important to them at interactive kiosks and exhibits.”

The regional vehicles offer a similar user experience, including GPS technology that allows visitors to track the tour online as it happens and through daily social media postings on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube.

Regional launch events include vehicles departing from national landmarks across the nation, such as the USS Constitution in Boston, Independence Mall in Philadelphia, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Altogether, more than 3 million people will have the opportunity to share their photos and stories, explaining why the census will make a difference in their communities. This constantly changing “portrait of America” will be captured during all Road Tour events and will live online at 2010census.gov.

Each vehicle has a unique name selected to help educate people about the Census Bureau, and they have unique Twitter handles for on-the-road updates. For updates on all 13 vehicles from January through April, follow us on Twitter at: @2010Portrait.

Vehicle Name / Census Region / Unique Twitter Handle

Mail It Back / National / @10MailItBack

Representation / Atlanta / @Representat10n

Democracy / Boston / @10Democracy

Founders / Charlotte / @10Founders

Population / Chicago / @10Population

Take 10 / Dallas / @10Take10

Geography / Denver / @10Geography

Statistics / Detroit / @10Statistics

Decennial / Kansas City / @10Decennial

Confidential / Los Angeles / @10Confidential

Liberty / New York / @10Liberty

Constitution / Philadelphia / @10Constitution

Abacus / Seattle / @10Abacus

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