Cemetery Mapping

Cemetery data spread out between spreadsheets, handwritten and typed books, and coffee-stained maps paint a very real picture for many communities. The effects of disjointed data can cause headaches for Clerks and even frustration in the public. Some organizations have invested to consolidate their records but still can’t visual them on a map. There are many challenges that come with effectively operating a cemetery, and data is one of the biggest. If you have been working towards modernizing your historic records, you already know that it could take you years to do so on your own.

Wightman’s GIS team works with organizations to preserve their historic cemetery records and make them accessible through an interactive database and map. Your staff are enabled to visualize records like they haven’t before, finally being able to place a location with a name. Your cemetery system becomes an important planning tool, allowing you to visualize - and rectify - capacity issues before they occur. Citizens can now independently locate their loved ones, allowing your staff to focus on other important tasks.

How do we do it? Depending on if you are just starting or are already knee deep in the project, Wightman’s GIS team will utilize its high-tech capabilities to document your records. Converting brittle paper maps to smart digital ones is a breeze, especially with high-accuracy GPS to locate known cemetery site features. Finally, we will develop an online interactive cemetery map that can be used by your staff and the public. Our Reality Capture team can also fly cemeteries with our drone to capture accurate and resolute imagery that can be used in the online map. Do you already have a cemetery management system, and just need an interactive map? We can work with you to connect your existing system with the interactive map, all without requiring your staff to learn new workflows.

Here are a few more benefits of a modern GIS cemetery system:

  • Preservation of historical cemetery records
  • Capture the knowledge base of seasoned staff
  • Enable citizens to find loved ones using online interactive cemetery maps
  • Provide centralized access to records for staff
  • Consistent placement and management of plots
  • Provide a real-time picture of cemetery capacity
  • Often can utilize existing GIS systems (no additional software licensing)

Perhaps you're interested in seeing how other communities are utilizing GIS technology for similar projects. Hagar Township (MI) has taken the initiative to begin mapping their three cemeteries, and is utilizing a dedicated group of volunteers to complete the process. The City of Dowagiac’s Riverside Cemetery map is now available online. Antwerp Township has also made Harwick Cemetery's expansion area map accessible though their website.  

The Tri-City Record, a weekly newspaper that covers Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet and includes Hagar Township, shared the progress of the project with their subscribers. Check out their article!

Contact our GIS team if you would like more information about GIS technology, cemetery mapping, or if you would just like to chat.

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