Mapping a Graveyard with Field Assets For iPhone

19 Mar

There are two old graveyards I pass almost daily in Albuquerque. Through Google, I was able to find an attempt by someone to create a list of all the people buried in these sites. It appears there was a grant at some point to do this work, but over time, without upkeep, many stones have been weathered and the names gone. There are also many small crosses and stones that appear to be marking graves, but there are no names or indications as to who was buried there — if anyone. This would be a great GIS project. At a minimum, I think a point on a map with a popup showing an image of the individual grave or tombstone, and the name if possible.

I have an app on my iPhone – Field Assets – to collect data (another great app for this, especially if you had your own tileserver would be  Fulcrum). I walked over to the graveyard and just took two points as a test of accuracy and to give me something to work with on building a web map.

In the app, I setup an asset type called grave with no attributes other than the default name, image, location, sound clip. Then I added a grave by starting with use current location and fine tuned the actual location. Finally I took a photo of each grave.

The images show the graves on a map – within the app – and a photo of a grave. I can export from the app to a SHP file, CSV, SQL, HTML – this is awesome! The app will export out webpages of your asset that you can modify.

I need more work on this – mostly more time. Once I have all the images and points in the app, I would then create a Leaflet.js map in a website that embeds the images in the popup – an puts the points on an aerial image. The data collection could be done quite quickly and then fine tuned in QGIS at home. The point is that Field Assets or Fulcrum are effective data capture apps for most mapping needs. If you need hardcore accuracy then a cell phone is not going to cut it, but for most of us, it puts GIS data collection capabilities, that were not too long ago way out of reach, in our hands.



3 Responses to “Mapping a Graveyard with Field Assets For iPhone”

  1. Shannon.Abiteboul March 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    That would be a great asset for those interested in genealogy.

    • paulcrickard March 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      I think so too. People in these graveyards were here before New Mexico was even a State. It’s sad to see them in such poor conditions. It is even more troubling to think that nobody – except maybe a relative- knows who is buried in most of these plots. These people built NM.


  1. Fulcrum Mobile Data Collection « Architecture and Planning - April 2, 2012

    […] recently posted on Mapping a Graveyard with Field Assets App. In this post, I am going to show how I collect GIS data in the field using my iPhone and the free […]

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