OpenStreetMap

Mapping Cemeteries

Posted by SK53 on 9 August 2009 in English (English)

Today I was fixing up a bit of coastline (newish artificial breakwaters) around the Wirral, when I noticed the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. It's one of those large cemeteries where it's hard to find a particular gravestone without some kind of co-ordinate system. Luckily, there is a "Friends of Rake Lane Cemetery", who have a plan of this cemetery on their website. So, I sent a speculative e-mail asking whether we could use this information on OSM, and received a very prompt positive reply. Whilst I consider a sensible tagging scheme, I've temporarily placed POIs with addr:housenumber tags to identify the sectors of the cemetery. I think the sectors really need to be represented as areas.

What use is this? 1. Finding a particular grave in even smallish cemeteries can be difficult, but it is particularly hard in the very large military ones (e.g., Arlington National Cemetery), and war grave cemeteries with thousands of similar gravestones. Maps and plans assist this process. 2. Many cemeteries have significant monuments, or graves of well-known people which may be destinations (Jim Morrison is the obvious example). 3. This is a special case of the problem of navigating in a tract where many individual locations look very similar. The IGN French national mapping agency include sector numbers for some large forests around Paris. These numbers are also marked on the ground at the corner of each sector. 4. OSM tools and renderers could be used for special purpose maps by organisations which care for cemeteries.

Location: Egremont, Wallasey, North West England, England, United Kingdom

Comment from es_ka on 9 August 2009 at 22:55

Great idea! But tagging with "addr:housenumber" is quite strange, isn't it? We should introduce (if there isn't any yet) a new tag for this special purpose... but no idea at the moment.

Some years ago I have been working at some small cemeteries (it was an alternative civilian service), so I should ask there if I can have some plans to use with OSM :-)

By the way: Jim Morrison's grave at "Cimetière du Père Lachaise" in Paris is already in OSM, but unfortunately not rendered! ;-) See here: http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=48.859372&mlon=2.393826&zoom=19

Greeetings from Germany
es_ka

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