I posted NARA is Looking for a Host and Search Engine for the 1940 U.S. Census on 1 June, and now the Federal business Opportunities webpage for the RFI for the census has been updated, and now includes:
* Notice Details - with the RFI
* Packages - includes the Questions and Answers submitted by prospective vendors
* Interested Vendors List - only 6 listed, none of them the expected "players"
The Questions asked by the vendors and the Answers provided by NARA shed additional light on the requirements that NARA has for the 1940 census. See Answers to 1940 Census RFI Questions.docx for the complete set.
I found these questions and answers to be of major interest:
Question 10. Will the government allow us to set-up a membership based fee for access to the documents and pictures?
My comment: wow! The documents and pictures (maps?) will be free to access. Totally free. A surprise to me - it doesn't say "within NARA facilities" - it implies from anywhere!
Question 22. Will there be any SSL traffic where users will need a username and password?
My comment: Same as above.
Question 16. Beside developing a search engine and search display interface what are the other requirements for website development?
My comment: Could the vendor require a username and password, and charge for use of the search engine? I'm unclear.
Question 4. What are the expectations for the size of the downloaded image file? Is it the full 4 MB file size provided by NARA or a compressed file size?
Question 7. What is the intent in supporting the download of all images from a given Enumeration District at once? What use cases are envisioned to be supported by this functionality?
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