Cemetery comes to life with QR codes

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Whenever you go to visit a cemetery, there’s usually a tombstone of the deceased with the date of birth, date of death, and sometimes a short quote or epitaph. However, a cemetery seeks to take it a step further and put a quick response (QR) code near someone’s grave to tell a little bit more about the person.

A graveyard in the city of Roskilde, Denmark has started to use the codes to help commemorate the deceased, offering more information than found on a traditional headstone. Printed on a porcelain plate and attached to a small stone, the QR codes can be found in the ground beside the headstones. Scan it with a smartphone and you’re taken to a website of the deceased showing their photo alongside a summary of their life.

Roskilde resident Dorthe Frydenlund decided to place a QR code by the grave of her father, Brent. “As a family it means a lot when you are here and feel the need to commemorate Dad,” Frydenlund said. “It’s not meant as a comfort, more an opportunity for other people to learn his life story. It’s a good way for my son to remember his grandfather.”

Niels Kristian Nielsen, director of Denmark’s largest gravestone manufacturer, says, “It’s a good way to tell the story of a person. And we all have a story. Both the farmer, the director, they all have a story. And also it makes a visit to the graveyard much more interesting.”

Other towns in Denmark are looking into this service, and if it picks up enough steam, we could be seeing it worldwide. “There are lots of people who are important and I think their story and what they have done with their life is important,” said Hanne Korsby, who is a member of a church council in Holbaek. “I think it’s very important for the next generation to have this memory.”

This could be a big help for families to preserve their genealogy for future generations, whereas before people had to piece together anecdotes and rely on oral tradition about their ancestors, and mostly older relatives told these stories at family gatherings. Although the service isn’t available here yet, it might be considering the emphasis on family in our country.