VA offers grave-locator service to mobile devices

Service is available over "smart phones"

The Veterans Affairs Department has announced a new locator service to make it easier for family members and friends to locate the graves of 6.7 million veterans.

The Nationwide Graveside Locator service is available on handheld devices with Internet capability. The service provides locations and driving directions to both national cemeteries and private burial grounds, according to the agency.

"This innovative program continues VA's commitment to use the latest technology to provide veterans and their families with information they need," VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said. "It will simplify and enhance the experience of many who visit our national cemeteries."

The VA introduced an Internet-based nationwide gravesite locator in 2004. It is linked to electronic burial records to help people find the cemeteries where their relatives are buried.

For veterans and eligible family members buried in national cemeteries, or whose graves are marked with a government headstone, the location of the graves can be found with desktop computers and at national cemetery kiosks, the VA said .

The Web site allows for searches by name and by cemetery, if the location is known. A search will provide a grave location, a link to a Google map and driving directions, and a link to the cemetery map if available.

The VA is adding about 1,000 new records to the database each day, agency officials said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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