About the Cemetery GIS and Web-GIS Project


Funded by two Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF) grants awarded to a research team led by Drs. Chunzeng Wang, Mike Sonntag, Lynn Eldershaw, and Kimberly Sebold, the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) has conducted burial data collection and GIS mapping and data integration of the Fairmount Cemetery since summer 2009. Thirteen UMPI students assisted the project by performing cemetery data collection and database development, as well as data online publication. Professor JoAnne Wallingford supervised Access database management system development and initial website design. The project is the first large-scale, comprehensive cemetery mapping with applications of advanced GPS, GIS, and web GIS technologies in Maine. The database serves as a cultural resource for conservation, interment planning, maintenance of grave markers and monuments, and management of facilities, grounds, and records. The project is expected to have direct economic impact on the region in terms of availability to and attraction of tourism, while it provides the public with a solid database for genealogical and historic research.


The project has fostered a fruitful connection between faculty, students, and community associations, most notably, the Fairmont Cemetery Association and the Presque Isle Historical Society. Participation of students in the project has gained them hands-on experience that has enhanced their academic experience and employable skills. The alliance between students, faculty, and community serves as a good example of service-learning and community-based research.


The students who participated in the project and who helped with annual database update since summer 2009 include: Megan Pryor, Sherry Cole, Ashlee Pryor, Robert Baldwin, John Donley, Brittany Hickey, Letian Zheng, Nolan Gagnon, Zicong Zhou, Lenka Rambouskova, Gary Parent, Walt Guerette, and Jered Dickinson. Lenka Rambouskova created the first version of this website.


"GIS, not just for the living." - Don Zillman (UMPI President, 2006-2012)


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