Using the latest technology, the city of Haines City has found a way to make it easier for cemetery visitors to find their loved ones’ gravesites.
Recently, the city set up kiosks in both public cemeteries – Forest Hill Cemetery and Oakland Cemetery – with a QR code that can be scanned from the visitor’s smartphone. Once scanned, the user is sent a search bar by last name, which allows them to type in the name of the deceased. They are then given the block, lot, space number and GPS coordinates to find the gravesite. The GPS features on the phone will take them directly to the site.
“Visiting lost loved ones can be very emotional and sometimes frustrating,” City Clerk Erica Anderson said. “We’ve been working to make this experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.”
City-maintained cemeteries currently serve as a final resting place for about 9,000 deceased. The city began converting to an electronic system that allowed visitors to find gravesites online in 2016. Although grave locations were already online, the kiosks replace a booklet with names and grave locations that was kept at the cemeteries. The change will allow the city to make all updates electronically.
“We took that concept and found a way to make things even easier and more user-friendly,” Interim City Manager Jim Elensky said. “We’re excited to be able to use the latest technology to serve the needs of our community and all cemetery visitors.”