What's New on Histopolis - Q1 2011
We are actively improving and expanding the site. Here are some of the recent changes:
25 March 2011
Area Cemeteries. In addition to the previous marker indicating an area cemetery,
Histopolis now also shows the boundary of the area cemetery if it is available.
This is particularly useful for cemeteries that are adjacent to the cemetery (place)
you are viewing.
It may take a few weeks before all of the site is refreshed to show area cemetery
boundaries for all places on Histopolis.
19 March 2011
Mapping. The Histopolis place mapping capability has been completely reimplemented
to support the additional features described below plus future capabilities. The
ability to update the position of a cemetery has been temporarily disabled until
it can be reimplemented.
Survey Townships. The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a way of subdividing
and describing land, and is used in all or part of 30 states. Histopolis now supports
survey townships as places, meaning that there is a separate page on Histopolis
for each survey township (currently 83,422) that shows the township boundary, can
list resource links specific to that township, and shows the cities and cemeteries
located within that survey township. See
for additional information on surveys. Sections within townships are not supported
at this time.
Map Layers. We have redesigned the mapping support to accommodate survey townships
and improve the usability of all Histopolis maps. Maps now have multiple layers
which can be individually shown or hidden. For example, the map for a city might
have layers for the following:
- the city (place) itself
- the "area cemeteries" in or near the city
- the civil township or townships (if any) that overlap the city
- the county or counties containing the city
- the state containing the city
- the survey townships containing the city. If more than one survey applies to a place,
there is a separate township layer for each survey.
When the page for a place loads, only the layer for the place itself is shown. To
show any of the other layers, check the box next to the layer name in the "layer
legend" table under the map. There is an exception for US States and incorporated
cities where the layer for the place itself is not initially shown since they are
already well depicted on the Google map, but the Histopolis layer can be selected
Some Histopolis mapping information is loaded into the browser only when needed,
speeding up the initial page loading and display, especially over slower connections.
Once loaded, future requests for this mapping information will typically be satisfied
by your browser's cache unless you have deleted it. Histopolis should appear to
speed up as you visit more of the site.
Tip: The survey township layer for some surveys and states contains thousands
of townships and it can take a long time to load and display that many places. We
recommend displaying the survey township layer at the county level or below.
Limitation: The place layer for a survey shows the "bounding box" (the smallest
rectangle that contains all of the survey) and not the actual boundary of the survey.
Some areas within the bounding box may actually be governed by other surveys or
no PLSS survey. The place layer also indicates the meridian and base line of the
Place Highlighting. A layer can contains several places, such as a large
city that covers parts of several county subdivisions (such as civil townships).
All of the places in a layer are drawn with the same color boundary and interior
color but when you move the mouse over a particular place its display on the map
becomes highlighted and the name of the place appears in the map's layer legend.
If multiple layers are currently shown, only places from one of the layers are typically
highlighted. If the layer you want is not getting highlighted uncheck the other
layers to hide them.
Administrative Divisions. The administrative divisions within a place are
now shown on the map as a new layer. For example, when you display the page for
a US State, there is now a layer named Counties, which if selected will show all
of the counties within the state and as you move the mouse over a specific county
its name will be shown in the layer legend. Similarly, if a county has subdivisions
such as civil townships there is a layer showing those subdivisions.
1 February 2011
Images. The Histopolis capability to support images has been significant
expanded and improved. Previously you could add a single image to a grave and that
image was scaled by the browser which could result in a large file being transferred
when the image was displayed. The new capabilities are described below.
Image Scaling. Histopolis now automatically generates two scaled versions
of each original image contributed to the site, a "normal" sized image and a "thumbnail"
image. The normal-sized image is the one displayed on the site.
Multiple Images. Histopolis now supports multiple images for each grave.
If more than one image has been added, a single normal-sized image is displayed
and a "thumbnail strip" is displayed below the image allowing you to select and
view any image associated with the grave.
See the grave of
Lucinda Elizabeth Allen
Big Shoal Cemetery,
Clay_County, MO for an example of multiple image support.
Image Title. Each image can now have an optional title and description associated
with it. The title and description can be provided when the image is added. If a
description is not provided, the uploaded image file name is used as the description
(unless it appears to be a name automatically generated by the camera).
Place Images. Histopolis now supports images for cemeteries and unincorporated
populated places. There is a new "Images" section on the place page for these places
that displays any images already contributed for the place and allows you to add
We encourage you to add your cemetery "gate" photos, photos of the cemetery sign
and any general cemetery photos. Please add close-up photos of individual headstones
or other images specific to an individual to the specific grave and not as a general
Big Shoal Cemetery,
Clay_County, MO and
Summit_County, UT for examples of places with images.
Uploading Images. As a reminder, when uploading images Histopolis prefers
that you upload the original image, and not one that you have scaled down, cropped
or compressed. This allows us to provide the the best image resolution for the situation
and will also support future capabilities.
Surname Center. The Histopolis Surname Center now contains over 325,000 surnames.