Digital Mapping in the Cloud: Virtual, Free, and Necessary… How Does it Work?

Digital Mapping in the Cloud: Virtual, Free, and Necessary… How Does it Work?

Tony Lorge


The benefits of digital cemetery mapping and the steps you can follow to set up digital mapping in the cloud
Cemetery on Shoreline

Remember paper road maps and atlases? Thankfully, with GPS and other technological advancements, we don’t have to rely on such rudimentary way-finding tools anymore.

And just like navigating roads and highways have changed, so, too, have the tools used by funeral homes and cemeteries to map and locate current plots and landmarks and plan future developments.

Digital mapping in the cloud, such as that offered by OpusXenta byondcloud, is the forward-thinking tool that brings the death care profession valiantly into the next decade of the 21st century.

The vast majority of cemeteries do not use digital mapping yet. Why? Many aren’t aware the technology exists. Often, it’s not readily accessible… or the cost associated with mapping can be prohibitive. Some cemetery owners or their volunteers may feel uncomfortable or unskilled at technology. And others simply prefer to stay rooted in past technologies.

But from a business point of view, digital mapping provides scores of benefits — for cemetery staff (operations, grounds staff, and sales team), vendors, historians, families, and the general public.

Digital mapping helps deliver on one of the owners’ core challenges—showcasing the memorials, parks, and gardens, thereby generating increased interest.

Much like their interred residents, cemeteries can often be forgotten. But that’s not good for anyone’s business. Staying top of mind — especially in the death care field — is important.

Consider this: people visit cemeteries when a loved one is first buried; many rarely make return visits. But if those visitors had a quick and easy way to find a deceased loved one — maybe a mom doing research to find her long-lost Aunt Jane or a historian looking for the county’s first female attorney or a famous celebrity — and be able to navigate their way to the location, those visits would be well worth it. People might even look forward to visiting. And that’s great PR!

So how do we go about setting up a digital map? Simply follow these steps.

Step 1. Sign up for free!

byondcloud offers its digital mapping tool for free. Cemeteries large and small can benefit — from huge city cemeteries all the way through to small rural graveyards, and even funeral home cremation gardens. The digital mapping tool is designed for any outdoor memorial location.

Step 2. Simple set-up.

Creating digital mapping is simple, even for those not technically savvy. A byondcloud user simply logs in and accesses the mapping tab and then enters the cemetery address. Using Google Maps, users can then begin creating their custom maps, which is simply a method of clicking and dragging polygons over gravesites to create GPS coordinates. Once a map is created, it can be easily updated to include new locations as needed.

From there, undoubtedly useful digital mapping can become even more impactful when used in conjunction with a cemetery’s or funeral home’s management software, like byondpro or Record Keeper, available from OpusXenta, or any other system. When combined with these systems, digital mapping can also provide deceased, inventory, point of interest, and sales information.

Quote "Creating digital mapping is simple, even for those not technically savvy."

Maps Answer Questions.

byondcloud’s digital mapping is an easy-to-use system with high-resolution graphics that can answer many questions. Where is a specific grave? Where is the chapel? Where is the mausoleum? Where are the open spots? Where is there something of interest?

That capability is important for many of the cemeteries; it saves time fielding phone calls and other queries, which is especially helpful if a cemetery only has volunteer staff.

Maps Help with Planning.

Mapping can be used to plan out new spaces in the cemetery before the area goes into use by simply using the easy to use design tools. It’s virtually…amazing!

Maps Serve Many Functions.

Maps can be accessed by grounds staff and sales on their smartphones to ensure works are performed at the correct location, alleviating costly mistakes. And because digital mapping can include layers, the map can indicate not only where the graves are, but also overlay layers that indicate plumbing or electrical lines. You can even calculate where the roots of a large tree would be underground. The layers can be alternately turned on or off; whatever purpose is needed.

Digital mapping also is beneficial from an operations and sales standpoint. Sales staff can quickly look at a map and see what locations remain available in the cemetery. Showing potential customers a digital map with high-resolution imagery lends a personal touch to selecting the perfect location.

Share Your Map.

Once you create your map, you can publish it on your website and make it accessible to the public and, through your internal systems, make it available to your sales and operational teams.

As old technologies like paper maps struggle to meet the needs of today’s more savvy customers and users, digital mapping offers power, progress, and potential with just a few clicks.

Maybe the best part? Cemeteries and their staff and volunteers no longer need to direct people the old-fashioned way — look for the big oak tree and turn right at the dirt path!

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