The paper examines the nature of census operations in Nigeria and identifies the contribution of satellite remote sensing (SRS) data and geographic information system (GIS) to the contingency planning, mapping and management of census (attributes) datasets in Nigeria. Enumeration Areas (EAs) of a site in Enugu, Nigeria was mapped. The census datasets were modeled and presented as an ideal process. This was implemented using (IKONOS-1 m) image data in carving out the area, to demonstrate that SRS and GIS are very useful tools in handling census datasets. Ground reference data for carved-out area was collected using GPS hand sets. A census database was created with various attributes, exploring certain aspects of data planning and processes. This was in terms of image (data) compatibility, modeling, and capacity for interactiveness of database management system (DBMS) network for spatial (query) analysis (based on user specified needs) was performed to determine the age, type or purpose of buildings and other facilities within the mapped EAs. The scale of the challenges faced by census managers; the no spatial credibility, crude data processing technique, socio-political tendencies, un-proportional houses, correlation, and attribute verification often results to contention, rejection and delay of census results in some cases. The paper concludes by suggesting new ways and means through which the Nigerian state through its agencies in census operations should explore to tackle this menace and save the nation from the embarrassments of poor handling of census datasets.
Key words: SRS, GIS, enumeration areas, census datasets, mapping, management.
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