Students in in Lewiston ID use GIS in Cemetery Necrogeographical Study

The 5th Street Cemetery Necrogeographical Study is a GIS-based project that combines current technologies with traditional historical research and fieldwork. Begun in October 2001, the project has focused on two (2) cemeteries located inside the limits of Lewiston, Idaho, a city of 31,000.

The purpose of the project was initially to introduce selected junior high school students to the use of global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) management to plot and analyze patterns at the Normal Hill site. A consequence of the students findings in the initial phase of the project findings required extensive investigations that grew out of a further need to answer important questions. Research has since shifted to the site of the original city cemetery, where many graves are suspected to still exist.

The project is presently centered at Jenifer Junior High School. In September 2004, the project will move its operations to Lewiston High School as the students matriculate.

Participating students act as technology assistants and have been trained in the use of ArcView 3.2 and the global positioning system.

Kudos to the teachers and students on some great work! They’ve been recognized with a number of awards to date including:

  • ESRI Community Atlas Award (2002)
  • Orchid Award for the Preservation of Historical Legacies (2004) "People’s Choice"
  • American Association for State and Local History Award (2004)
  • Governor’s "Take Pride in Idaho" Award for Historic Preservation (2004)