Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

September 8, 2022

Since the VA, WV, MD, D.C. schools challenge is now complete, we’re kicking off the autumn season by launching another “spooktacular” challenge focusing on cemeteries in Georgia! 

Base Map

As you can see from the map below, a decent amount of work has already been completed for cemeteries in Georgia. However there are lots of green points we’d like to get peer reviewed or advanced edited, and a few red points that also need reviewing. And don’t forget to check for missing cemeteries, too!  

TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: Cemeteries in Georgia (09/08/22)
TNMCorps Mapping Challenge: A map showing the edit status of cemeteries in Tennessee as of 09/08/22.


Not Sure What Each Point Color Means?

Each point in the editor has a colored border. These colors are part of our tiered editing process and signal to editors that a point hasn’t been edited yet, that it needs to be peer reviewed, or that it has been advanced edited or approved (in which case it does not need to be edited again). Our November 2018 newsletter has an article titled Editor Roles and Point Colors that describes this process further. 

TNMCorps Point Border Colors
TNMCorps Point Border Colors


Tips and Tricks for Editing Cemeteries 

The primary changes that we ask our volunteers to look for when editing cemeteries are:  

1) Does the cemetery have the correct name? 

2) Is the point in the correct location? 


Confirm Names with Authoritative Sources 

  1. Remember to find an authoritative source for each feature. 

  1. Common authoritative sources for cemeteries include local genealogy sites, Find A Grave, church websites, and the Historical Topo Layer in the web editor. 

  1. Note that the Historical Topo Layer may not always include the name of the cemetery. If it does include a name, it may not be the most recent. See the Closer Look at the Layers List article in our July 2019 newsletter for more on the Historical Topo Layer.  

  1. Do not add points for unnamed cemeteries. Before adding points, make sure the cemetery has a distinct name as documented by roadside signage or an authoritative source. Any points added with generic names (e.g., “Unnamed Cemetery” or “Cemetery”, etc.) will be deleted.   

  1. The newsletter articles titled Cemeteries with Multiple Names: Which One to Use? (January 2021) and Misspellings in Road Signs: What to Do (May 2021) have more on naming conventions.  


Proper Point Placement 

  1. When editing cemeteries, be sure to zoom in all the way and, if necessary, click-and-drag to center the point on the cemetery.   

  1. Check out the newsletter articles titled Aerial Imagery Interpretation Part 1: Cemeteries (September 2017) and Cemetery Research and Guidance (September 2019) for tips on how to identify cemeteries in aerial photography. 

  1. The Historical Topo Layer is another helpful resource for cemetery placement. 


What if I can’t locate an existing cemetery?  

  1. Can’t locate an existing cemetery? Think twice before deleting it!  Many times, older cemeteries exist in forests or overgrown brush and are difficult to spot in aerial photography. It’s extremely rare that you’ll need to delete a cemetery point, so if you can’t find evidence that a cemetery has been destroyed or its burials disinterred, it’s best to leave the points on the map and move on to points you can confirm.  

  1. Only delete a cemetery if you have documentation that it has been relocated or destroyed.  

  1. See the Cemetery Research and Guidance article in our September 2019 newsletter for tips on how to confirm these hard-to-locate cemeteries.   

  1. This Q&A post about Deleting Cemeteries provides additional insight. 


What about Addresses? 

Addresses are an optional field for cemeteries. If a complete street address (e.g., street number and street name) exists, we encourage volunteers to add this information.  However, many cemeteries do not have a complete address.  In these scenarios, entering cross streets or the closest street is also acceptable.   

  1. Do not use addresses from commercial mapping services (e.g. Google™). Only enter complete addresses that come from genealogy websites, Find A Grave, church websites, or other authoritative sources. Check out the Overview of Cemetery Addresses in our October 2021 newsletter for detailed guidance on dealing with cemetery addresses (or lack thereof). 

  1. See Table 1 in our Name and Address Formatting Guide for more on how to format cemetery addresses.   

  1. These Q&A posts discuss cemetery addresses further:   

  1. Cemetery Address 

  1. County Road Address Format 


Additional Tips and Tricks 

  1. For cemeteries divided by major thoroughfares, see the Cemetery Guidance Update (July 2021) newsletter article. 

  1. Our Blast from the Past Part 2 article in the September 2020 newsletter highlights additional tips and tricks for cemeteries.   

  1. Several other Q&A posts also outline tips and tricks for cemeteries:  

  1. Should a "destroyed" cemetery be deleted? 

  1. Is there a preferred format for church cemetery names? 

  1. Cemetery with extra point for a single gravesite 

  1. New name for cemetery 

Proper Point Placement 



If you have any questions about the editing process, reach out to us at Thanks for helping us out, and happy mapping!