WASHINGTON (AP) — Arlington National Cemetery on Monday made available to the public a massive electronic database detailing the gravesites of the roughly 400,000 people buried there.
Cemetery officials built the database over the last two years to verify the accuracy of their records brought into question by reports of misidentified graves. Prior to 2010, the cemetery used paper records and maps to track who is buried where.
On Monday at the Association of the United States Army convention in Washington, the cemetery debuted an interactive map available through its website and through a free smartphone app. It uses geospatial technology to hone in on specific graves and can also be searched by name.
It can be accessed through the cemetery's website www.arlingtoncemetery.mil
When a name is called up, a viewer can see when the person was buried and the dates of their birth and death. Photos of the front and back of the headstone can also be viewed. Monuments and memorials that commemorate the service of specific military units are also included in the database.
The application also highlights some of the notable graves throughout the cemetery that are popular with the roughly 4 million visitors annually that the cemetery draws.
"This is a great day for veterans and our families," said Kathryn Condon, executive director of the Army National Military Cemeteries, which includes Arlington.