It's easy to laugh about the wide array of useless and ridiculous applications available for smartphones and tablet computers these days and to think they truly do nothing more than add to the dumbing-down of America -- but this is one that I think we can all agree is a wonderful, amazing use of mobile technology.
Arlington National Cemetery has announced that by this fall they will have a smartphone app available that will allow Arlington visitors to use GPS technology to easily find their way around and locate specific graves in that massive cemetery.
"What we wanted to do was use technology to field a geospatial capability that allows us to assign and manage grave sites digitally on a single map and get away from the bits of paper, but use all of the data and electronic records to manage cemetery operations more efficiently" said Army Maj. Nicholas Miller, chief information officer at
"With over 400,000 individuals buried at the cemetery, to do anything across all of these pieces of paper is a labor-intensive effort," Miller continued. "This fall we're set to launch a common smartphone application so that family members and visitors can log onto their smartphone, find grave site directions and download images of their loved-one's headstone -- and that'll be across not only the iPhone but the Droid and Blackberry platforms so that everybody who comes to the cemetery can better honor and explore using technology to enable and enhance their visit."
Having just visited Arlington on Memorial Day I can tell you that the sheer scope of it can be very overwhelming and I believe this is an excellent use of technology to make visits there more manageable for all concerned.
You can read more about it here or have a look at the video below.