PE&RS January 2015 - page 8

January 2015
After rectification of the scanned cemetery map, boundaries
of OHC lots were manually digitized. Automated vectorization
was not suitable since the original maps had background
lettering and numbering. Polygon features were attributed with
lot number, family/owner’s name, and level of care (perpetual or
none). We then created an associated data table, joined through
the lot number, for each veteran’s burial, using Marshall
(2009). This table included date of birth, date of death, military
branch, military rank, conflict(s) served in, and whether
the person was killed or disabled during military service.
Marshall (2009) provided not only the tombstone inscription,
but also supplementary information from the official Record
of Internments for the cemetery, newspaper obituaries, and
Charlotte Marshall’s extensive genealogical knowledge.
Of the 516 lots in the Old section of OHC, veterans’
gravesites occurred in 199 lots. The 199 lots contained
gravesites of 316 veterans. These veterans served in the
American Revolutionary War (2 veterans), War of 1812 (4),
Mexican War (4), various conflicts related to Native American
removal from the expanding USA territory (5), American Civil
War (207), Spanish-American War (6), Philippines War (1),
WW I (30), WW II (23) and Vietnam (2)
, plus veterans that
served during times of peace (30). Of these 316 veterans, the
gravesites of 93 veterans were interred in 76 lots that lacked
perpetual care. Using this information, the Friends of OHC
were able to secure a $25,000 donation to assure perpetual
care for all veterans’ graves in the Old section of OHC.
The perpetual care of lots by the cemetery Sexton does not
include the costs for preserving the stone monuments which
are suffering from 150+ years of weathering, soil erosion,
vandalism, and damage from tree limbs falling from mature
trees. One act of vandalism scarred more than 60 statues in
one night (Banner-Herald, November 22, 1963). The Friends of
OHC need a way to relate to visitors, promote local awareness
to generate community support and respect of the historic
nature of the cemetery, and to stimulate financial support.
Geographic data can be exported to portable document
format (pdf) to create a GeoPDF which can be viewed using
a free map application for mobile devices, such as Avenza
reader (Wulrich, 2006; Pardue, 2008). If the mobile device
is GPS enabled, the GeoPDF displays the user’s real time
location on the map thereby providing an intuitive way to
navigate. GeoPDFs could be used by OHC to guide a family to
an ancestor’s gravesite or for self-guided tours highlighting,
for example, historical figures or Victorian-era gravestone
symbolism or veterans’ gravesites.
GeoPDFs for viewing only can be easily created through
standard GIS software. For example, in ArcGIS, the map is
simply exported to the GeoPDF format. Interactive GeoPDFs
also can be created, but this currently requires TerraGo
Tech’s proprietary stand-alone software or their plug-in for
ArcGIS. An interactive GeoPDF allows the user to select
layers to display and view supplemental information, such
as photographs, videos, or hyperlinks. While a network
connection to the server hosting the GeoPDF file is required
for map distribution to the mobile device, once the GeoPDF is
loaded, internet connectivity is not required.
For any GeoPDF to be useful for self-guided tours, real-
time location accuracy is needed. We created a GeoPDF of an
existing tour, designed by the Friends of OHC and currently
distributed on paper, for Veteran’s Day. Typical cemetery
lots are 6 m x 6 m. The base GIS layer created by rectifying
a paper map had an RMSE of ±3.6 m after rectification.
Additionally, there would be real-time GPS receiver error.
The self-guided GeoPDF tour was tested in the field on an
Apple iPad 4 using the free Avenza GeoPDF map viewer. Self-
navigation by referencing the location of the iPad relative to
the OHC GeoPDF placed the user in or on the edge of the
desired cemetery lot 18 out of 19 times. Average error of the
center of cemetery lot locations in real-time was ±4.3 m (n=19;
range of 1.3 to 14.5 m). This level of accuracy is believed to
be suitable for the general public to navigate to specific OHC
lots to locate an ancestor’s gravesite or for the general public
on self-guided thematic tours of the cemetery.
A way to distribute the GeoPDF tour of OHC also was
necessary. Thiswas accomplished by creating a quick response
(QR) code to direct users to a web server for GeoPDF download
(Figure 3). Both the software to generate and read QR codes
is freely available. Users with mobile devices equipped with
a camera can scan the QR code on handouts provided at the
cemetery or on their website which automatically directs the
user to a server at the UGA Geography-CGR website to view
and download the GeoPDF featuring veterans’ gravesites.
Users who are not physically within the map extent can view
the map, but will not see their location on the map.
1 The New portion of the cemetery contains gravesites of veterans
from Korea, both Iraq Wars, and the Afghanistan War. Our sur-
veys in the New portion of the cemetery have not been completed.
Therefore, this article focused on the completed surveys in the
Old portion of OHC.
Figure 3. Quick response (QR) code
that links to a GeoPDF tour of vet-
erans’ gravesites in the Old section
of Oconee Hill Cemetery. To access,
scan the QR code with a smart phone
or tablet, open the link in a browser,
then choose to open the map in a
map app, such as Avenza PDF Maps
(free). Once the map is opened in
Avenza, it is available to the user
even when an internet connection
is not available. The user’s GPS
location will be displayed as distance to the OHC map. The user’s
GPS location will display as dot (typically blue) when physically
within the OHC map extent.
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