A Digital Makeover: Beechworth Cemetery’s Success Story

A-Digital-Makeover_-Beechworth-Cemeterys-Success-Story-1 (1) smart cemeteries

Map and records search: Beechworth Cemetery

Number of Records: 10,500 plots with over 17,000 interments

Location: Beechworth, Victoria, Australia

  • Digitalised cemetery records
  • Physical survey of the cemetery grounds
  • Interactive online cemetery map
  • 24/7 online access to plot/cemetery information
  • Customised database management solutions delivered at a highly affordable price

Founded in 1856, Beechworth Cemetery Trust is one of the earliest public cemeteries in Victoria. It’s a well-preserved mid-19th-century cemetery. Beechworth’s public cemetery is considered of historical, aesthetic, botanical, and even of scientific significance to the State of Victoria.

At approximately 8.5 hectares (twenty acres) in area, Beechworth Cemetery is a large cemetery with over 17,000 burials and more than 800 monuments for individuals interred since 1852.


The Challenge

While the cemetery itself is gorgeous with well-kept grounds, the same could not be said about their very old cemetery records.

Decades of administrator turnovers took their toll on their cemetery records; which didn’t help with maintaining accurate data.

While they had previously commissioned a customised database, it did not solve the main issue of missing and inaccurate records; which eventually lead to malfunctioning.

This resulted in the team managing cemetery records utilising a new database in Excel. Consequently, this ushered chaos with two sets of unreliable cemetery records, even more time was wasted as they had to thoroughly investigate records for each inquiry.

In the end, the system required an overhaul, but admittedly this was beyond what the administrative team could handle.

The Solution

Given all these issues, the continual use of the existing system was only piling up problems. It was apparent they needed a solution to help:

  • Organise their cemetery records and help eliminate errors
  • Create a real-world representation of their cemetery plan
  • Bridge the gap between database and a digital cemetery mapping

Rather than using multiple, error-prone platforms to manage their data, they began their search for an all-encompassing, custom cemetery mapping, and management software system.

After careful due-diligence, they decided to work along-side Chronicle to help decode over a century and a half worth of built-up information.

The Results

Thanks in part to Victoria’s cemetery grant program; which Beechworth Cemetery was able to obtain; we immediately began Phase 1 of a truly groundbreaking project.

One bonus was that, after utilisation of a specialised procedure; which uses the latest surveying techniques and technology to efficiently survey the cemetery, we were able to capture the details from the headstones and match these with the database to rebuild Beechworth Cemetery’s records.

Fast forward several months of close collaboration with Beechworth Cemetery and their faulty database was magically transformed into a powerful, yet simple and efficient system.

Through collaborative effort, the following results were obtained:

  1. 50% Faster Data Recording Time
  2. Elimination of Transcription Errors and Duplicates
  3. Safe and Secure Viewable Plot and Cemetery Information
  4. One (1) Single Database for all of their Information
  5. Accurate, Digital Interactive Cemetery Map of Beechworth Cemetery
  6. Public Accessibility to a Restrictive Digital Cemetery Mapping System
  7. Accurate Database Eliminating Time Spent on Cemetery Record Management by up to 9

Chronicle’s cemetery software system now carries much of the workload, especially in the tedious job of answering ancestry inquiries from the community. It is now as simple as directing visitors to their website where individuals can easily access public cemetery records and map to locate the information they are seeking.

It makes our lives significantly easier; especially for referring requests to family history searches, assisting the general public in locating their loved ones, and also with showing people vacant plots.”  – Secretary at Beechworth Cemetery Trust.

We are delighted to announce that the integration of surveying services and software provided the ability to create an interactive, real-world cemetery mapping experience that quickly became a fan-favorite.

Today, Beechworth Cemetery is happily equipped with an aerial view; making it quick for everyone to understand the location context and easily walk directly to the monument.

As we continue to evolve, our promise to them and all of our members will always be to continually improve upon and enhance our cemetery software. In order to provide the most memorable immersive experience on our mission towards connecting memories through meaningful innovation.

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