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The following method of digitally documenting cemetery markers has decreased by at least half the time it takes our genealogy society to read cemeteries and get the information onto a data base.
There are three distinct advantages in using modern technology to read and document cemeteries, as opposed to the pen and pad method.
First, a digital camera in the hand is faster than a pen in the hand—much faster. With a digital camera, you can record information at more than three times the rate than if you were using a pen and notebook.
Secondly, pairing a digital camera with a computer and photo program is like bringing the cemetery into the comfort of your own home. The information you enter into your database is information that you’re reading directly from the pictures you took at the cemetery. Having this ability translates into fewer database errors, as you are not transcribing from someone else’s handwriting—or worse, in my case, my own handwriting.
Thirdly, if you do happen across a suspected typo in your database later on, you can easily examine the specific photo the data came from, with no need for a sticky note reminding yourself to check that particular marker next time you’re at the cemetery.