[Talk-us] Cemeteries in OSM?

Jeffrey Ollie jeff at ocjtech.us
Mon Jul 29 15:54:30 UTC 2013

On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 9:49 AM, Thomas Colson <thomas_colson at nps.gov> wrote:
> Are there any examples of detailed cemetery mapping in OSM? E.g. individual
> head-stones are mapped with interred information. Is this even an
> appropriate use of OSM? I have a cemetery mapping  project with LOTS of good
> data, pondering the best way to publish it….

Outside of OSM, genealogists are extremely interested in
cemetery/grave information.  Two of the larger projects that I know of

http://www.findagrave.com/  (Longer established, but does not include
GIS data for individual graves/headstones)
http://billiongraves.com/ (Newer, but includes GPS and a photo of each

I couldn't find detailed information, but I believe that the data from
these projects is not "open" unfortunately.

IMHO, detailed information about every grave isn't appropriate for OSM:

1) Unless specialized apps are developed, searching the data would be difficult.
2) Do maps render high enough zoom levels to distingush individual graves?
3) As other have discussed, data quality issues.
4) Ability to attach metadata, or provide stable links to other
sources of information.

The exception to the rule would be for historic figures or celebrities
that the general public might want to search for/visit.

What I _would_ like to see is an improvement in the accuracy of
cemetery names/locations/outlines.  Many cemeteries were loaded into
OSM as part of the GNIS import.  Unfortunately, that resulted in many
name and location inaccuracies.  I've improved nearby ones that I
could but some (esp. small pioneer or family cemeteries) are going to
take an on-the-ground visit because they aren't visible from aerial
imagery, etc.

If a cemetery has named/numbered subdivisions it would be nice to get
that information into OSM because sometimes you know a grave is in a
certain section of a cemetery.

Jeff Ollie

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