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Authors: Kelly Streeter and Kent Diebolt, Vertical Access LLC, William Barry and Natalie Wampler Mount Auburn Cemetery

Presenters: Kelly Streeter and Natalie Wampler


Founded in 1831, Mount Auburn was the first large‐scale designed landscape open to the public. Currently juggling its existence as a public destination, National Landmark site and active cemetery, Mount Auburns’ 175 acres boast a wealth of fences, fountains, chapels, ornamental plantings and approximately 44,000 monuments. Tracking conditions and prioritizing upkeep and repairs on these various assets is a daunting task. Currently a survey of the monuments is being completed using a Microsoft Access forms‐based system, and carrying standard laptop computers into the field. Sometimes equipment limitations or failure requiresa traditional two‐step process of inspection taking paper notes in the field followed by data logging back in the office. Currently, there are no photo‐linking features of the system.

Vertical Access developed the Tablet PC Annotation System (TPAS) to allow on‐site documentation of existing building conditions using tablet computers and digital cameras. TPAS combines the utility of the AutoCAD program commonly used by architects and engineers for the annotation of elevation, plan and section drawings with customized programming to streamline quantity measurements and photographic documentations. With the system existing conditions are noted in graphic and numeric formats in AutoCAD using pre‐defined block libraries of material conditions.

TPAS was developed primarily for the inspection of building elevations and has been used extensively for this purpose over the past five years. In reality, the technology can be applied to plan surveys as well, and cemetery assessment is a natural application of the technology. Mount Auburn Cemetery was an ideal partner for a TPAS pilot project. They are already engaged in and committed to completing a thorough multi‐year survey of all of their monuments and the content and structure of the data for their survey has been carefully planned, yet their professional staff and available resources for the effort are very limited.

This pilot project involves the creation of a cemetery‐specific conditions attribute tag library and the training of Mount Auburn personnel in the use of TPAS on a limited survey project. The ease‐of‐use and functionality of TPAS will be compared with their current tracking system. The relative advantages of the two systems will be discussed and cemetery‐specific improvements to each system suggested. This session will explore the potential that TPAS has for Mount Auburn as well as other cemeteries large, small, public and private.

Additional information: Vertical Access LLC and TPAS: http://www.vertical‐access.com/tpas.html

Mount Auburn Cemetery: http://www.mountauburn.org/contact/

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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119