Friday, June 29, 2012

Waymarking (and such) in the Cemetery

 
GPS Device
A waymark is a location or a specific symbol found at a specified location or route.  Waymarking identifies specific points of interest. You mark these locations when you visit them by their GPS coordinates - latitude and longitude, so that others can find them.  On http://www.waymarking.com you then post the information in the correct category with a description and photo to share with others on the site.

WOW Waymarks
Currently, Waymarking lists over 408,000 waymarks worldwide.  The Waymarking web site has over 1,000 categories listed.  Fifty are in the cemetery category and include worldwide cemeteries, veteran cemeteries, churchyard cemeteries, abandoned cemeteries, Woodmen of the World grave markers, mausoleums and many more.

Waymarking Groups
Out Of Place Cemetery Stone
Waymarking also consists of groups.  A group can be formed when 2 or more people volunteer to work together to manage the category they’ve selected. These group leaders will review the submitted information; making sure the GPS coordinates and information are correct.  There are almost 1,800 groups currently on Waymarking, of these twenty-four groups exist under the search for cemeteries.

Scavenger Hunt Symbol
You can even do scavenger hunts with Waymarking.  A scavenger hunt is a personal or shared challenge (game.)  Scavenger hunts use a set of waymarks  randomly selected for you, based on the criteria you enter.  The goal is to visit each waymark, take a photo of yourself at the location, then log onto http://www.waymarking.com and post the pictures to get credit for each location visited. Credit consists of your success being logged on your Waymarking profile.  A scavenger hunt can include a simple search that covers a few miles near you, to over 200,000 square miles.  You set the criteria you want to follow.


Geocaching Container
Geocaching Symbol
Geocaching www.geocaching.com/ is more about the hunt for ‘treasure,’ a physical container located at the given GPS coordinates. The container usually holds a logbook.  The geocacher enters the date the cache was discovered and signs the book with their code name.  Sometimes toys or trinkets are also included in the cache as a bonus ‘find’.  Geocaching has been described as a “high tech game of hide and seek.” Geocaching has been an outdoor sport since May3rd, 2000, the date it officially started. There are over 5 million people who take part worldwide, and over 1.7 million active geocaches currently in existence.

Letterbox Container
Letterbox Symbol
Geocaching is very similar to Letterboxing, http://www.letterboxing.org/.  Letterboxing can be traced to Dartmoor, England in 1854 when National Park Guide William Crossing placed a bottle for visiting cards from hikers and adventurers at Cranmere Pool.  Letterboxers carry a personal journal of their finds, and mark it with the custom ink stamp found in the letterboxes. Letterboxing is still practiced, having spread from England throughout the world. Letterboxing began in North American in 1998.  There are over 20,000 letterboxes hidden throughout the country.  Clues may be found at the Letterboxing website.


FaceBook Groups
Cemetery Crosses
I personally enjoy scouting cemeteries on my own terms, posting photos and taking part in the cemetery group discussions on Facebook.  But waymarking, geocaching and letterboxing are also other options available where you can share your love of cemeteries and photos with fellow tombstone tourists.

~ Joy