Arlington National Cemetery App

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Arlington National Cemetery App

Search using Arlington National Cemetery app for grave sites of family members. The Arlington National Cemetery app is available for download here for Apple and here for Android. You can search via these apps or on the Arlington website for name, birth date, death date, and/or location.

The Arlington National Cemetery App (ANC Explorer) makes available to the public a massive electronic database of the grave sites of the roughly 400,000 people buried there. Search results include the name of the person who was buried and the dates of their birth and death. Photos of the front and back of the headstone can also be viewed. Monuments and memorials that commemorate the service of specific military units are also included in the database.

Cemetery officials built the database over the last two years to verify the accuracy of their records brought into question by reports of misidentified graves. Prior to 2010, the cemetery used paper records and maps to track who is buried where.

To accomplish this goal, the Department of Defense implemented an Enterprise Interment Services System (EISS).

EISS includes a mobile app to help cemetery operations teams photograph, catalog and assign global positioning system locations to grave sites, streamlining maintenance and operational processes. Working with mobility company DMI, DOD will create an enterprise National Military Cemetery app for internal cemetery operations and a common virtual database and network environment for military cemeteries nationwide.

EISS aims to correct a years-old problem that has plagued military cemeteries. In 2012, the Veterans Affairs Department said it made mistakes at VA cemeteries that led families in seven cities to mourn at the wrong graves. At the Houston National Cemetery, for example, VA staff put 14 grave markers in the wrong plots in 2002.

In June 2010, The Washington Post reported that Army investigators had found more than 100 unmarked graves plus graves not marked on official maps. A DOD inspector general report that month made matters worse, stating that it found 211 instances of unmarked graves, misplaced headstones and improper dumping of human ashes.

The Associated Press reports:

On Monday at the Association of the United States Army convention in Washington, the cemetery debuted an interactive map available through its website and through a free smartphone app. It uses geospatial technology to hone in on specific graves and can also be searched by name.

The database has been the subject of a painstaking review and even now is not 100 percent complete. Katharine Kelley, the cemetery’s director of accountability, said that about 99.4 percent of the nearly 260,000 gravesites, niches and markers have been verified.

The remaining few deal largely with some of the cemetery’s oldest graves and records, which date to the Civil War. In many cases, it may be an effort to verify the spelling of the first name of a spouse buried at the cemetery among disparate handwritten records.
By |23 Oct 2012|Cemetery Records, Military Records|Comments Off on Arlington National Cemetery App

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”