Social networking appears to extend into the great beyond now, or at least it does for those interred at the City of Suffolk Cemeteries. It seems that even in death, one can not escape the bonds of technology, and for the proponents of this new technology, that is a great thing.
The City of Suffolk’s Department of Parks and Recreation recently launched an app that was a year and $20,000 in the making. The app allows users to find grave sites with the accuracy of GPS technology and satellites. The city collaborated with webCemetaries.com, a Virginville, Pennsylvania-based company that has been in business since 2005, and services customers in 20 states, according to The Virginian Pilot.
Some of the city’s cemeteries date back to the 1800s, and are large enough that finding a specific grave site can be difficult. The app not only helps locate burial sites, but also provides a social media-like page that users can access and add to. Obituaries, pictures, remembrances, and tributes can all be uploaded to a deceased’s profile page. Anyone can submit information to a profile page, but there is a review process that prevents negative and inappropriate material from being posted.
A recent increase on interest in family genealogy is another factor that has been driving the success of apps like this, which seem to resonate more with younger, tech-savvy generations who are used to using social media for just about everything.
History buffs are also drawn to the new technology, which enables them to more easily access information on historical figures as well as find and visit their grave sites. Other resources like Find a Grave and Ancestry.com have increased in popularity and use recently as interest in personal genealogy and family history increases.
Suffolk City hopes that their new app is a hit, and more importantly is useful to those who frequent its cemeteries. The City said that the app should also help to remove the need to respond to up to 30 calls per week and associated research directed toward helping people find specific graves.