There is no denying that technology has helped improve the death care experience, both for the family and friends of the deceased but also for those working in the industry. But perhaps one of the areas where such innovation has been most transformational is in the area of cemetery mapping.
Traditionally, cemetery layouts and inventory have been recorded using land surveying techniques, which are costly in terms of time and expense. This also means that the maps are usually only updated every few years and so become outdated very quickly. Traditional maps also tend to provide a rough indication of where someone was buried, so this meant that loved ones still have to walk around a fair bit before they found the grave they were looking for.
Digital cemetery mapping has replaced generalization with precision; it has made it possible to obtain high-quality, detailed images of a burial ground (often in just a matter of hours). The innovative and intuitive software enables updates to be administered quickly, and detailed information can be attributed to specific graves, plots, or places of interest on the map. It’s an exciting development that opens the doors of possibility to those who are willing to embrace it.
The benefits of digital mapping
The benefits of digital mapping have been plentiful, from optimizing space and managing inventory to streamlining groundwork and providing visitors with easy cemetery navigation. It’s enabled cemetery management to take complete control of their operation, maximize efficiency and expand their reach to new audiences.
The key benefits of digital mapping include;
Digital mapping means that visitors can easily find the location of loved ones through kiosks, computers, or mobile devices. In fact, the information and visual maps can be accessed anywhere where there is an internet connection.
Engage new audiences
The ability to assign useful information and tags to key points of interest on the map also provides cemeteries with the opportunity to expand their reach to the broader community and even offer tours of key landmarks within the grounds.
Digital mapping is also a useful preventative measure too; it can help identify flora growth, age, and root movement enabling action to be taken quickly to prevent further damage to graves and cemetery structures.
Cemeteries often struggle with a lack of visibility when it comes to assessing their available space. As the population continues to grow exponentially, there is greater pressure on burial grounds to find space to accommodate new burials. This is a common and ever-present issue that can be effectively minimized by implementing digital mapping, which provides a far more accurate representation of space utilization.
Improve access to information
Mapping tools provide cemeteries with the capability to include map and location information in the search records of the deceased. In addition, the maps can be exported into a variety of formats for use in any application, including appearing on the cemetery website.
Despite the plethora of possibilities that digital mapping presents, many cemeteries remain on the sideline, yet to take advantage. Most cemeteries are fairly substantial in size, so the cost of undertaking the initial digital mapping of the site is often a key sticking point, despite the tangible operational savings and the improved customer experience. Furthermore, cemeteries are under increasing pressure to maintain services and experiences with ever-depleting budgets, so the thought of investing in technology that isn’t deemed ‘essential’ is often met with resistance. Thankfully there are a range of free mapping tools available (such as those available in byondcloud and recordkeepr) for cemeteries to utilize, enabling them to transform the way they approach cemetery mapping management with minimal outlay.
The offer of free mapping technology means that cemeteries have every incentive to adopt this innovative approach to burial ground management. Still, it’s worth considering a few factors before taking the plunge. First and foremost, it is important to ensure that the free mapping tool integrates with your existing record management system and that it will be easy (and free) to utilize the maps in the way you’ve planned to. It’s also worth exploring what the costs of upgrading the system would be should you need to add in additional functionalities in the future.
OpusXenta recognizes the challenges that cemeteries in the 21st Century are facing, which is why we are proud to offer cemeteries the free mapmakr tool, which integrates with any record management system such as byondpro. The team is also on hand to provide support and guidance to ensure that cemeteries can take full advantage of the practical functions included within the free mapping tool.
What is clear is that cemeteries aren’t going anywhere. Despite the rise in cremations in recent years, cemeteries will remain an integral part of modern society for years to come. Embracing technology is an essential requirement for those who wish to maintain efficiency and meet the increasing demands of local authorities, cemetery visitors, staff, and the wider community.