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Wyoming drone pilot helps to find unmarked graves

Wyoming drone pilot helps to find unmarked graves

A Wyoming drone pilot and State geologists help to find unmarked graves and map the Cedar Hills Cemetery at Fort Pierre in South Dakota this week.

Wyoming drone pilot helps to find unmarked graves

The burial coordinator, Dustin Loyd at the South Dakota Archaeological Research Center in Rapid City says that the records on who is buried where in the centuries-old cemetery have not consistently been kept up to date.

finding the unmarked graves at the Cedar Hills Cemetery is not an exact science, Lyod says but there are some hints and clues. He added that when they do find a potential unmarked grave the spot is marked for later research.

FAA-certified, Wyoming drone pilot Chris Leatherman from Gillette said that mapping out cemeteries is a somewhat new use case for drones. Leatherman is also the adjunct instructor in drone and GIS studies for the University of Denver, reports DRGNews.

Last year, the Fort Pierre City Council asked for input from the public about whether the town should keep selling plots at the Cedar Hills Cemetery. This sparked the interest in locating the unmarked graves at the centuries-old cemetery. Accurately mapping the area with the help of drones will help to determine how much space is currently available for sale.

Wyoming drone pilot helps to find unmarked graves

You can read more stories about discoveries that have been made with the help of drones here.


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Photo credits: Jody Heemstra and Chris Leatherman

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