In the spring of 2005, students and teachers at Minerva Central School
began a project that entails locating and mapping existing cemeteries
within the boundaries of the town of Minerva.
The first phase of the project, which has been completed, included
mapping the borders of the graveyards by using Global Positioning
System (GPS) receivers.
In the second phase, which is ongoing, we are marking the position
of the individual grave markers with the GPS units, digitally
photographing these markers, and recording all available information
(such as name, date of birth, age, composition and condition of the
We will assemble all of the data in the third phase of the project by
using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to create a
spatial map of the data, creating a comprehensive geospatial database
of community forbearers.
The students and teachers in Minerva Central School's GPS Outing Club
will be completing the majority of the data collection and research associated with this project. However, we forsee that the map, website, and database
could be used in a variety of the school's classes. It will allow teachers to
create cross-curricular opportunities that revolve around the history of the community. To add biographical data to our collection, students will conduct historical archival research at both the town and county levels and interview those closely associated with the town's past. This will provide students with
an invaluable experience which will hopefully lead to a greater appreciation
for this historical development of Minerva.
While this project will have a direct impact on the school, we hope that it
brings equal benefit to the community. The creation of a digital database
will allow for easy searching and updating of historical information. The photography of the gravestones will preserve their appearance digitally even
as their surfaces weather over time. As we begin our research phase, we
hope to create a lasting collaboration between the historical society, town residents, and school community.
The MCS GPS Club has been responsible for using the GPS units
(Garmin eTrex Summit) to document the grave sites.
The Advanced Computers 2 class, taught by Mr. Pagnotta, compiled
the data using ArcView GIS 3.3 by ESRI.