Institute for Mediterranean Studies

E-Mem: An Interactive Graveyard Information Management Tool & Virtual Memoriam Database

E-Mem project was carried out under the framework of the EU program e- Content. Taking in account the large number of cemeteries (accounted more than 400.000) and the lack of a uniform communication and management graveyard platform in Europe, the project seek to create a tool that enables ubiquitous exchange of graveyard and related information over the www. Except the obvious applications of the portal in the management and services of modern cemeteries, a number of modules of the research project were focused in the cultural dimension of the cemeteries. The project defined the best practices for portraying information on cultural monuments in the context of graveyards and investigated the evolution of funeral practices in Europe. The changing patterns of cemetery locations were also explored by creating a number of thematic maps for the island of Crete, presenting the spatial distribution of the prehistoric and historic cemeteries, linked to multimedia information related to them. The above information contributed in the study of the evolution of the landscapes in terms of their representation and context production. To achieve the goals of the project, the participating members utilized mapping technologies through the use of GPS and EDM units, digitization and georeferencing techniques, SQL database construction, GIS mapping and presentation of the geographic information through the WEB. A number of pilot cemeteries were brought in the pool of the e-Mem portal, including the modern Orthodox cemetery of Rethymno, the Deutsche Soldaten Friedhof at Chania, the Moslem Cemetery of Yeni Mahalle at Komotini, the Municipal cemetery of Bologna (Certosa cemetery) and the Bernardines Polish cemetery in Vilnius. The significant historical context of the cemeteries and their monuments was emphasized. The ultimate product of the project focused in building a dynamic portal bringing together the different policies & standards of registering and offering info on the deceased in Europe, ensuring wider access to Europe’s common heritage; one standard applicable to all regardless of their language, culture and religion; one standard which at the same time could serve information related to the historical and cultural value of the cemeteries and their significant monuments.

  • Apostolos Sarris