The process is a simple one and the amount of work involved will depend to what extent cemetery records and maps may already be in digital format. The process below describes the process for records and maps which are presently in paper format however many cemeteries may already have some information in digital format such as burials recorded in Excel spreadsheets and maps in digital designs drawings.

1. Records from a burial ledger are entered into a simple Excel spreadsheet.
It is important the records contain the grave site number linked to a map of the cemetery.

[picture of Ledger]


[picture of Spreadsheet]


2. In conjunction with the spreadsheet, a map of the cemetery showing grave site numbers is scanned.
This map is then converted into a digital line drawing using a programme such as AutoCAD.

[picture of Old Map]

Scanned Map

[picture of AutoCAD Map]

AutoCAD Map

3. These two datasets, the spreadsheet of burial records and the digital line drawing of the map,
are then entered into and linked using a Geographical Information System (GIS).

From the GIS, maps with any of the information contained in the spreadsheet such as Name,
DOB, Date of Death etc can easily be made.

[picture of GIS Map]


4. If photographs are available then links to pictures of tombstones can be made on the GIS map.

[picture of Tombstone Map]

Tombstone Map

5. To make the records searchable online the Excel spreadsheet is loaded into Google Documents as a spreadsheet.
This enables a search database application to be easily developed without complicated and costly programming.
Permissions can also be set to this document to allow specific users to update the database online.

[picture of Database Search]

Search Database