“Wipperfürth Launches New Internet Database for Cemeteries”

Wipperfürth – “A Technical Solution for a Highly Emotional Story,” said Mayor Michael von Rekowski, describing the new “Digital Grave Site Information System” which he presented on Thursday at the West Cemetery in Wipperfürth.

Through its own website, individuals can easily find graves in all seven Wipperfürth cemeteries. Users simply enter the name of the deceased into the search field on the website, and the sought-after grave is displayed on a map of the cemetery. This allows, for example, someone to locate the final resting place of an old friend whose burial they could not attend in person.

Mayor Sees Wipperfürth as a Pioneer

“We wanted to make the cemetery administration database accessible to the public,” says Stefan Schumacher, who developed the site along with his team from the company PBS Geo. “The cemetery office staff, of course, know who is buried where. We wanted to share and make this knowledge accessible,” Schumacher explains. But not only can the location of a grave be displayed.

Photos, texts, or information about, for example, honorary graves can also be stored in the database, turning the digital grave finder into a cultural and historical guide. “In our opinion, this has great potential, as a cemetery is always also a park and a place of retreat for walkers,” says Mayor von Rekowski.

User Terminals to Offer On-Site Access

The application could also be helpful for the hospice service, which regularly offers a chapel café and provides counseling for terminally ill individuals and their families, according to the mayor.

The New Grave Site Finder

The “Digital Grave Site Information System” allows users to find graves in the cemeteries of Kreuzberg, Klaswipper, Egen, Thier, Wipperfeld, Agathaberg, and the Weststraße cemetery through its own website with search function.

How it works: For example, when entering a family name in the search field of the website, all individuals with that surname buried in the selected cemetery are displayed. Choosing a name from the list then shows the grave site on the overview map.


A notice at the cemetery chapel with a QR code will draw attention to the new offering. In the future, a user terminal on-site is being considered, especially since older people may not necessarily have a smartphone.

Stefan Schumacher from PBS Geo is considering further possibilities. For example, the GPS position of the sought-after grave could be displayed. “This is software, it’s never really finished,” says the developer. Michael von Rekowski sees the Grave Site Information System as part of Wipperfürth’s digital strategy. “In any case, with this system, we are pioneers nationwide.”

Source: Kölnische Rundschau, March 14, 2020

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