Some students dress up for school on Halloween. But others were hanging out at a graveyard.
High school students from the Academy for the Arts, Sciences and Technology canvassed the Myrtle Beach-owned Ocean Woods Memorial Cemetery Tuesday, mapping each grave site with a Global Positioning System device. The data will be used for a new city cemetery app.
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Other students from the school were gathering birth and death data for a life-cycle analysis.
“I think it’s kind of cool but I’m a little creeped out because I think I stepped on a grave or two,” said Rhiannon Green, a junior who wants to study nano-medicine at MIT.
Green said that along with the city app, the data will be uploaded to the US GenWeb website, which relies on volunteers to map cemeteries around the country for genealogical research.
“We’ll take all that data back to our classroom and create maps and geo-locate,” said AAST computer science teacher Blake Vaught, who was overseeing the trip.
There are about 7,000 people buried in the cemetery, Vaught said. The students weren’t able to map the entire cemetery, but Vaught said the school could make the cemetery grave-mapping trip a recurring event.
Myrtle Beach GIS coordinator Lisa Holzberger said she would coordinate with Vaught to put the data into the city app.
“We hope to put that into a web app that will be accessed through out city website so anybody can do their own genealogical research through the comfort of their own home,” Holzberger said.