Friday, November 17, 2006

Eternally Online

Genealogist Elliott Malkin has come up with what he calls "Cemetery 2.0," a concept that connects burial sites with online memorials through a live satellite Internet connection. As a prototype, he linked his great-grandfather Hyman Victor's gravestone in Chicago to his "surviving Internet presence," comprising a Flickr photoset, Facebook entry, Pedigree Resource File, and Family Tree of the Jewish People entry.

Conceptual Background
GEDCOM files are strings of colorless facts, a skeleton around which one can construct the narrative of a life. Standard graves, likewise, house little by way of information above the surface of the ground but serve as a public testament to an individual's life. The notion of a digital cemetery, rows of servers in vaults below a mountain in Utah, raises the possibility of combining the electronic burial with its traditional counterpart. In this sense, the project is a step towards the next-generation cemetery — a networked memorial to the electronic record of a man. [Link, via We Make Money Not Art]

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