Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Back at the end of August, I received an e-mail from Brett Atlas of Resting Spot, telling me about this new project they had started using the GPS technology in smartphones to help people locate "RestingSpots" in cemeteries. Now anyone who knows me knows that August was a blur for me. That is when I moved to North Carolina, and I was NOT prepared or able to take on any new projects myself or investigate any new applications. However, the e-mail piqued my interest, and I held on to it with the hope of following up some day.
Finally, I did. Or, I should say, WE did. On Saturday, October 15, Ginger Smith of Genealogy by Ginger's Blog and I decided to fulfill a FindaGrave.com request for a photo of a grave. We decided it would be a good time to try out this new Resting Spot application. I downloaded the iPhone app and away we went. We visited Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery in Wake County (Raleigh). We were searching for the headstone of one Louise (or Louisa) H. Johnson Smith, as per the request on Find a Grave. While we did not locate her grave, we did locate the graves of three of her children, Swannie, Elbert, and Early Smith.
Adding these Resting Spots into the application was simple. You click "Add." You type in the First, Middle/Maiden and Last names, Birth Date, and Rest Date. (You will notice the location latitude and longitude already listed at the top of the screen.) Click "Add RestingSpot." Upload the picture of the headstone, and you are done. I was excited at how easy it was to use. The application automatically enters the name of the cemetery (In this instance, the cemetery is also known as King Family Cemetery so that is the name listed in Resting Spot.) and maps the location. Once uploaded, you can Share RestingSpot, Add Photo, look at the Photo Gallery (the photo you already uploaded), or View on Map.
Now I am a huge Find a Grave fan. I have used it for several years and have been a volunteer photographer for them. I have made breakthroughs in my research using that site. However, they have not eagerly entered the mobile application arena. (There is a Android mobile app, but it is not being actively promoted or supported, as far as I can tell.) It is still mostly a manual process to upload memorials and photos to their site. I will continue to use Find a Grave, and I am hopeful they will branch out more in the mobile arena, like maybe adding an iPhone app.
Resting Spot is new and only has a fraction of the number of resting spots in their database as Find a Grave has in theirs. I have high hopes for it, though, and will now use it each time I am out visiting a cemetery. There is another mobile application for uploading graves, and I say we cannot have too many. The more options we have as genealogists to find information about our ancestors... all the better. Resting Spot's goal is "to map every RestingSpot in the United States by Memorial Day 2013." They are looking for volunteers to help them meet that goal. Please consider contributing to their database... or to the database of whichever application or site you prefer.. or even to all of them! We can never have too much information in genealogy!
I was not asked or compensated by Resting Spot for my comments/review of their program. I was just impressed with it and wanted to share my opinion. There is an Android app also available. Both the Android and iPhone apps can be downloaded via links on their site: www.restingspot.com.