(Harrisburg, Pa.) When the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) wanted to ensure accuracies and data for veteran cemetery records, they turned to GeoDecisions®, Gannett Fleming’s geospatial technology division.
GeoDecisions is honored to provide global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) services for this project that will deliver centimeter positional accuracy, photo documentation, and veteran data records validation to identify discrepancies. In time, this information should enable family, friends, and visitors to obtain locational data when paying respects at a VA cemetery. OnPointe 3D Technologies LLC is GeoDecisions’ partner on this project.
“We are quite humbled to have the privilege of applying our GPS and GIS expertise to help record and memorialize the service of our veterans,” said Brian Rudolph, GISP, senior project manager. “Our effort helps to ensure highly accurate records on veterans’ burial location, service records, and personal information.”
Services being provided include performing GPS land survey and photographing of each headstone, flat marker, niche cover, monument, and cemetery infrastructure hard point (cannons, flagpoles, and building corners) to capture latitude, longitude, and elevation and migration of existing computer-aided design data, all to an NCA geodatabase plan. GeoDecisions and OnPointe 3D Technologies LLC are performing these services for 22 different cemeteries in the initial year and 49 in total for the project. Currently the team is approximately 75% complete with the initial year data.
The result is a highly accurate geodatabase that is then compared to the existing VA Burial Operations Support System database to confirm accuracy or flag discrepancies of veteran information, to which the VA will then make corrections if necessary. To support this project, GeoDecisions developed automated tools and processes that assist with data migration and ensure quality.
The largest cemetery in the project is in Calverton, New York, with more than 210,000 features to capture and document. Other cemetery locations in the initial year include the states of: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Upcoming years will include cemeteries in the states of: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.