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Kean Computer Science Students in ­nion Travel 'beyond the Grave'


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Headstones in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetary, Elizabeth, N.J.

New smartphone apps provide information on grave markers in the First Presbyterian Church cemetery in Elizabeth, N.J., including name, birth and death dates, cause of death, epitaph, and a photo of the gravestone (if available).

Credit: Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger

Kean University computer science students have developed a smartphone app to provide access to information on grave markers in the First Presbyterian Church cemetery in Elizabeth, N.J.

Last September, the church's Reverend Higgs challenged the students to develop such an app to provide the details recorded on more than 2,000 gravestones. Kean professor Patricia Morreale split the students into two groups to develop an iPhone app and an Android app, with each group replicating the other's search functionality and features. Both apps are now available for free download.

The apps provide information by name, year of death, age, or section of the burial grounds, and each person's file includes birth and death dates, age, cause of death, epitaph, and a photo of the gravestone if available. Graveyard maps, photos, and information also are provided.

"The app was well received at the NJ Historic Trust annual preservation conference in Newark," notes Reverend Higgs. "It clearly represents a cutting-edge approach to linking the latest technology to the necessity of preserving and rediscovering our history."

From NJ.com
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