What is GIS Cemetery Mapping and How Can It Help Cemetery Management?
By Kerry Munday
You’ve all heard the term GIS Mapping, but what is it exactly? And how can it help your cemetery management?
What is GIS Mapping?
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a way to display maps digitally so that people can find an exact location. It works by determining the latitude and longitude of a specific location and plots each location on a geo-referenced aerial photo. The maps are linked to a database, which provides information regarding the locations, for example: stores located in a mall or number of lanes on a road.
Google Maps, GPS units and smart phone navigation apps read information from GIS in order to accurately give directions for locations, give details regarding traffic conditions, provide an estimate of the travel time, etc.
How Can GIS Cemetery Mapping Help Me?
GIS Mapping is an excellent tool to provide information for your cemetery operations. Since it gives coordinates for specific locations, you can accurately display your sites in the cemetery with linked data.
Data that can be linked to the maps includes interment records, photos of monuments, the site status (i.e. available, on hold, occupied), interment capacity, etc. This makes it much easier to locate families’ loved ones or available sites for sale by performing a search and then providing directions to the sites. It also helps with cemetery maintenance, as you can determine the condition of monuments, drains, roads, fencing, etc. by looking at records in the database. All of this is possible even if your cemetery is covered with a blanket of snow!
Also, it gives you the option to publish a searchable database on your website or on a smart phone app, which also displays the location of monuments. Self-guided cemetery tours are much easier to create as well. This provides a self-serve option for families, which can save you and your staff a lot of time. Lastly, and most importantly, it provides cemetery management with more information at their fingertips to better plan and budget for the cemetery.
GIS Cemetery Mapping & Cemetery Software
Many cemetery software companies provide GIS Cemetery Mapping. Working with LEES + Associates, an industry leader specializing in cemetery master plans, landscapes and designs,Stone Orchard Cemetery Software offers a GIS Cemetery Mapping component and iCemetery, a smart phone app for both iPhones and Android. If you already have GIS Cemetery Mapping, we can import or link to your existing GIS maps.