Colorado town is using drones and ground-penetrating tech to locate lost graves, create more room

cemetery drone mapping

The City of Woodland Park, Colorado, has a problem that cannot be buried: Its cemetery is running out of space. So now, the city is looking at modern technology solutions like drones and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) equipment to figure out how it can create more room.

Established in 1891, the Woodland Park Cemetery is the city’s only municipally owned burial ground. It is about 66% developed and almost 80% sold out. But before the City develops the available land, it needs to know which areas to avoid. It needs to ensure there are no unmarked graves or artifacts buried under the surface.

Enter drone mapping and GPR surveys of cemetery

In early 2021, the city stopped the sale of new grave sites and started looking for ways to map and manage the land in a better manner. This month, Woodland Park has begun the implementation of a turnkey solution.

A drone survey has been conducted to create a layout of the cemetery. But before the cemetery drone mapping mission was to begin, the government issued a public notice, urging citizens to not freak out on seeing the drone, like this guy:

Please be kind to the drone! It will be completing a geophysical survey of the cemetery so the City can expand the usable portion of the cemetery. This survey will allow us to once again sell plots in our historical cemetery. The drone will be piloted by an FAA licensed drone pilot and all airspace waiver and authorization requirements have been met.

The next step will be to leverage GPR tech and see what lies beneath the surface. Rumor has it, a notorious fugitive wanted by the FBI is buried at the cemetery with a motorcycle, and the locals are quite excited to find out if that is indeed true.

Once the results of both the surveys are in, the data will come together in the form of a cemetery management software that will allow citizens to purchase new plots online. The city expects to start selling new plots in early fall 2021.

Read more: Drone pilot’s horrific discovery may help solve 2009 missing person case

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