Arlington National Cemetery is the first national cemetery to use an Army-designed geospatial mapping system to manage operations at its 624 acre grounds.
Kathryn Condon, executive director of the Army National Cemeteries Program, explained the switch from paper to GIS: “Arlington is no longer a paper-based operation. … By producing a single electronic map of Arlington, the staff will assign, manage and track gravesites with an authoritative digital map. It will allow us to synchronize in real time our burial operations at Arlington.” (Geospatial Mapping Enhances Arlington Cemetery Management)
259,978 gravesites, niches and markers have been photographed using a custom-built smartphone application. Each photo was matched with records in a database. Arlington officials are 84 percent complete with validating these records and they hope to finish this summer. After this is complete, Arlington will have a complete database of all those laid to rest in the cemetery. This will then be linked with Arlington’s geospatial mapping system.
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