Cemetery uses GPS to help people find loved ones' graves
SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKRC) -“It’s not easy to be innovative in the cemetery business,” said Arlington Memorial Gardens CEO Dan Applegate before showing me the latest innovation on his cellphone. It’s called ‘Locate a Loved One,” and it uses GPS technology to help cemetery visitors who have forgotten the location of a loved one’s grave.
“Go to amgardens.org, click on ‘Locate a Loved One,’ do a search for an individual or individuals that you’re looking for and it will give you step-by-step directions right to the grave space,” said Applegate. It works on computers, tablets and smartphones.
With 50,000 graves and no upright headstones, Arlington Memorial Gardens can be a challenge for visitors. Carson Blackwell came to the cemetery Monday morning to visit her grandfather’s grave. The new technology was a help.
“I knew it was in the general direction but I wouldn’t be able to walk right to it,” Blackwell said after locating the grave using ‘Locate a Loved One’ on her smartphone. “When you come to see your loved one who passed away, finding their grave’s the last thing you want to worry about. So I think it means a lot and is really helpful.”
The cemetery has been looking into the technology for 15 months. A soft launch before Memorial Day was a success so two weeks ago they began promoting it. Eventually, visitors will be able to post pictures and memories to create a family history archive of the deceased.
“Anything and everything that we can do for the people that are visitors and families. Anything we can do to help them ease there situation we are looking for that,” said Applegate.