APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2005-06 > 1119805957
From: "Paul K. Graham" <>
Subject: RE: [APG] Tombstone citation (GPS)
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 13:12:37 -0400
You are correct in saying that civilian GPS is not accurate down to the size
of a single grave. However, for locating a cemetery or a part of a larger
cemetery, it will get you close. I have a basic GPS unit from Garmin that is
accurate within 15 meters. Higher priced GPS units use "Differential GPS"
techniques to cut the error down to 3-5 meters (or so they advertise).
One of my ancestors is buried in a small cemetery in west central Georgia.
The cemetery is in a pine forest about 800 yards back from a long, straight
road with no major landmarks for a mile in either direction. It took
multiple trips by different family members before someone found it. That was
before GPS. Now we get our coordinates locked on and walk right to it. The
cemetery only has eight known burials, but the 15 meter GPS error gets us
within visual range and you can't miss it.
GPS is also good for a big cemetery, although I have found that the large
city and military cemeteries have good maps and established block and grave
locations. There is an older church cemetery near me that does not open its
cemetery records to the public. Having GPS coordinates for specific parts of
the cemetery is very useful for cutting down the search to almost no time.
Remember, the satellite signal gets broken up by water, so you won't have
good luck during rainy days and you also won't be able to get a signal under
a healthy tree cover. The time for getting the best results from GPS is on a
clear, dry, winter day when all the leaves have fallen from the trees.
Paul K. Graham
From: Deason Hunt [mailto:]
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2005 10:13 AM
Subject: Re: [APG] Tombstone citation
I have not used GPS for gravesite location because I have understood from
researching the topic that a GPS reading can not be considered accurate to
an exact spot as small as an individual gravesite in a cemetery. Is practice
is GPS that accurate?
----- Original Message -----
From: "James Hunter Railey" <>
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2005 3:38 PM
Subject: RE: [APG] Tombstone citation
> Of course some day each and every cemetery will be gone and row numbers
> be of no consequence. Of course today's genealogist includes, with their
> transcription and digital photo, longitude and latitude. That way our
> descendants five hundred years from now can go right to the gravesite. So
> much of our work has to do with place. Got GPS?