A Cemetery Information System and Customer Service Center for Wilmington, Massachusetts
Mark P. Kumler, Ph.D.
James Ciarrocca, M.S.
Wildwood Cemetery, in Wilmington, Massachusetts, has been in operation for over 100 years. The cemetery has been storing its owner and burial information in a Microsoft Access database since 2000, but the spatial data was recorded exclusively on paper maps. Searching for records, or performing updates or analysis was difficult and time consuming. Assisting customers often required the customer to wait for available staff and then for staff to search the records. The town needed a system that would allow personnel to access, update, maintain, and analyze the data in an efficient and timely manner. Additionally, allowing customers to access the data and perform searches on their own would improve customer service. The result of this project was a custom Cemetery Information System (CIS), produced with ArcGIS 9.1. The CIS is an interactive digital map linked to the existing cemetery database. This system allows users to pan and zoom the cemetery map, and visualize, locate, query, and analyze the cemetery data. The custom interface and tools lets the user input data and perform queries or analyses on that input. Cemetery customers have access to this system and can perform genealogy research, look for lots to purchase, or view important documents, without the assistance of cemetery personnel. The advantages of this system are that it permits the town to use its existing software and data, and to perform much of the setup and maintenance in-house. This was more efficient and economical than purchasing an outside system. This system also has the ability to be expanded in the future as additional data is acquired and needs are assessed.
Carlson, S. E. (2006). A Cemetery Information System and Customer Service Center for Wilmington, Massachusetts (Master's thesis, University of Redlands). Retrieved from http://inspire.redlands.edu/gis_gradproj/48
Full text is available at the University of Redlands