Mapping Cemetery Plots on Google Maps

Nov 9, 2010 • 8:14 am | comments (6) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

"To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful," that is Google's mission statement. So let's make finding dead buried people easier.

A Google Maps Help thread has an owner of a cemetery asking if there is a way for him to pinpoint each plot on the map to make it easier for family members to locate their lost loved ones.

He asked:

I have a cemetery which is split by section and rows, I want to be able to guide people to these sections and rows via google maps. The cemetery is partially populated with roads but not completely. I would like to know how i can get the roads completed.

Here is an embed of his Google Maps:

View Larger Map

I personally think this would be a good idea. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a cemetery search database somewhere, but Google should have one also.

Forum discussion at Google Maps Help.

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11/09/2010 01:34 pm

There are many cemetery directories online, usually you have to hunt down the location first, or at least know some of the pedigree data (full name, date of birth/death, etc.) - problem is updating that info, and I don't know how Goog would be better at this. Earlier this summer I was searching for someone who passed over a year ago. None of the website directories I used had them on file - ended up having to contact the cemetery directly. I don't know how often records like that are refreshed, or who maintains them, if it's up to the family, etc. This is a little morbid subject for a Tuesday morning ;)

Robert Perry

11/09/2010 02:20 pm

There are over 250,000 cemeteries in the US alone. The time and cost factor for putting all the data together and cross referencing burials with cemeteries would be a tremendous undertaking. For the past 10 years I have performed mapping and interment data management services for some 192 cemeteries. If I had a staff of about 100 drafters and researchers and a sizable budget, it might be doable. Look at the problems with just one cemetery - Arlington National. Most cemeteries in the US are in the same predicament for mapping and data accumulation. Bob Perry TIOPOGRAPHIX 603-429-4417

Barry Schwartz

11/09/2010 02:52 pm

Google can let cemetery owners submit a data feed like they do for google merchants, google transit, etc.


11/09/2010 03:05 pm

I agree with Bob Perry...managing the data of each lot is doable but a massive man-hour undertaking. To date there is only one way to capture the data of each "known" burial space---walking into the cemetery and recording information from burial markers---THEN---capturing that data to the digital age. We're working overtime trying to do exactly what you request...

Robert Perry

11/09/2010 09:15 pm

Reply: Data feedback is a good idea but the information is only as good as the source it comes from and take it from someone that has been up to his eyeballs in bad data and maps, it can be frustrating. Think about it, the majority of the cemeteries (close to 80%) today, there data is incomplete and maps at best are hand-drawn or rough sketches. I have had customers send me complete sets of map showing thousands of graves with interment names on box covers, pull down shades and scraps of paper. I have had many customers come to me with stories of grave being sold only to find out when they dig, someone is already buried there. To confirm the available of burial space or locating lost or unmarked graves, I use Ground Penetrating Radar. Bob Perry


08/13/2012 02:03 pm

great idea but again the man hours involved are incredible; i've walked many graveyards looking for people (5 hours) this past weekend looking for someone that would like a picture of their loved ones headstone. never did find it, found the surname but not the first names, relaxing walking but frustrating when you can't find them. will try to contact cemetery and see if they have a map but doubt they would share that info completely, after all, they don't really know what people do with information. i thought perhaps there was already someone out there that has done this, but i guess not so. find a gave gives the basics of where the cemetery is, not specifics on who's grave is whose in each so it's a matter of walking it to find what you want.

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