Chesham Town Council identified potential new income worth £12,000 by better managing its local cemetery with OS MasterMap.
Using Ordnance Survey’s highly detailed, large-scale mapping, via Pear Technology’s cemetery management system, Chesham Town Council can record plots in more detail and better plan for the future.
The logistical challenge
Chesham cemetery opened in 1858, long before the era of digital mapping. Since then, the council relied on inaccurate hand-drawn maps, which meant the council often found the situation on the ground very different to that in its records.
This led to inaccuracies in the number of plots believed to be available and made planning difficult. Another challenge for the council was to help the public locate the graves of their loved ones.
Pear Technology employees worked with the town council to create a bespoke cemetery map, based on OS MasterMap Topography Layer.
The geographical information system (GIS) enabled the council’s GIS Officer to plot and number the grave spaces within the cemetery. The council indicated on the map whether the plots had been reserved, had remains interred within them, or were available.
The council is now in the process of digitising its burial records and creating a photographic record of the headstones. This will benefit members of the public, as searching through the burial register books is currently time-consuming, slowing down the rate at which the council can respond to enquiries.
"Digital mapping has enabled us to record our cemetery in greater and more accurate detail than ever before. The technology saves our staff time, both in the office and on site at the cemetery. But it is also hugely beneficial to members of the public, as we can now provide them with maps to help them locate the graves of their loved ones."Kathryn Graves, Policy & Projects Officer, Chesham Town Council.
The data driven benefits
- Chesham Town Council can now easily establish how many plots it has remaining and can better plan for the future, as well as identify when new burial sites are needed.
- Throughout the cemetery, 58 new spaces have been identified. With the exclusive right of burial for a grave costing £217, this will generate new income for the council.
- Considerable time is saved by the Parks Department when locating graves, providing a better service for the council.