RALEIGH, N.C. - Historic Oakwood Cemetery has recently launched a new mobile application and website to help uncover the memories and histories of the individuals resting in its grounds and publish them in a searchable history database on its website. On the Apple and Android app markets you can download the cemetery’s mobile app, or you can visit http://historicoakwoodcemetery.org/ to search the burial records and maps.
The cemetery has been mapped in Google Maps so that visitors using the mobile app can have GPS navigation directly to the grave they are looking for, and view the memories, stories, photos and videos shared by friends and family. Submissions can be made through the memorial pages on the cemetery website.
The cemetery’s mobile application also currently offers one walking tour of the notable and famous burials at the cemetery, including Jimmy V, the beloved head coach of the NC State Wolfpack Basketball Team. More tour routes will be offered in the future. The cemetery staff is working with a local Girl Scout who will be researching and assembling new routes for the app as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award. A Tree Tour is also in the works. “Now, we are asking local community members to contribute to this history project. We are welcoming anyone in the community to send us information or pictures of someone buried in our cemetery,” said Robin Simonton, executive director. “Together, we can collect and preserve the history of our community. Every life story should be remembered.”
“As visitors search our records on our new website, they share memories, stories and timeless photos on the memorial pages of their loved ones. Their submissions are published in our mobile app so that the story is geo-referenced to the physical grave space,” Simonton said. “This new application is enabling families to connect with our cemetery in new ways, and is bringing our history to life. We have seen individual families and the community as a while benefit from this project, and we are working to see that it grows.”
This project has also helped the cemetery computerize and streamline its office and field operations. The cemetery staff is using its internal field office mobile application to automate their inspections and work orders, and to access the office records from the field, and after more than 100 years of working with paper records, the office staff has the ability to run reports and view digital maps.
Oakwood Cemetery’s project to computerize its records and document the legacies of local community members is powered by webCemeteries.com, a cemetery technology company in Pennsylvania working with hundreds of cemeteries across the United States.