The Washington Post

New app for locating graves at Arlington

Arlington National Cemetery has released a new application allowing smartphone users and Web browsers to locate graves and other sites around the cemetery.

Michelle Miley, right, from Leesburg, and her mother Christa Miley from Louisiana place flowers at the grave of Vietnam and Korean War veteran Robert D. Miley, father of Michelle and husband of Christa Miley, at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

This free app, released Monday, is now available on Arlington’s Web site, the iTunes store and Google Play. It is also loaded on new kiosks at Arlington National Cemetery’s Visitors Center.

“ANC Explorer is another milestone in our transformation,” Kathryn A. Condon, executive director of the Army National Military Cemeteries, said in a statement. “There isn’t a national cemetery that is as technologically advanced as Arlington – both in day-to-day operations and how it connects to its families and visitors.”

The effort stems from reforms undertaken after disclosures of poor record-keeping and incorrectly marked gravesites at the cemetery.

As part of the accountability effort, the Army photographed 259,978 gravesites, niches and markers using a custom-built smart phone application, according to cemetery officials. Each headstone photo was compared with existing cemetery records and other historical documents to verify the information.

The end result was the creation of a single, verifiable and authoritative database of all those laid to rest at Arlington that is linked to the Arlington’s digital mapping system, according to a statement from the cemetery.

Eventually, ANC Explorer will offer features such as emergency and event notifications, restroom and water fountain locations, shuttle stops, and self-guided tours.

“This is just the beginning,” said Maj. Nicholas R. Miller, chief information officer for the cemetery.

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