Project Brief: Mount Auburn Cemetery GIS

Now underway, Spring 2019: Justin Fair, a graduate student with Morgan State University School of Architecture and Planning, in pursuing his Masters of City and Regional Planning (MCRP), will participate in an independent study on Mount Auburn Cemetery in partnership with Sharp Street Church and the Westport Community in Baltimore, MD, under faculty advisor, Dr. Samia Rab-Kirchner.

The objective is to upgrade, expand upon, and merge the previous research efforts done on the Maryland State Archives-stored website (in discussions with archivist Nancy Sheads and historian Dorothy Doughterty), as well as to bridge the various research and planning initiatives that have taken place since then (including elements of Morgan State University’s “Westport Reconnected” Fall 2018 Planning Work). When complete, we hope to have a 2019-friendly website that will feature

  1. A ‘digital museum’ of sorts to share the many stories of those interned at the cemetery, as well as of the efforts of restoring and maintaining the grounds, that will connect with
  2. An interactive web map that will allow for easier updating of grave locations and headstones’ conditions; and
  3. An overlay of the cemetery’s grounds section-maps, which were, prior to Fall 2018’s wider-neighborhood Studio this past semester, rolled-up sheets that lived separate from an online catalog of who’s buried where.
  4. Lastly, a website the cemetery can use to house and better present their operations.



Mr. Fair is building a geodatabase that would be an interactive map for users to browse the locations of those buried along with individual and wider thematic stories.

What: We propose the use of multimodal imaging techniques to complement more traditional analytical techniques to optimize capture of data and their analysis, visualization and management, to ensure a better documentation and long term preservation and recognition of Mt Auburn Cemetery.

Why: An interactive website with a user-accessible mapping database will meet this demand and bring due attention to this very significant historic African American cultural landscape, and help in nominating this cultural heritage site on the US World Heritage Tentative List.

A Larger Vision

Cultural and Ecological Restoration Plan

Cultural and Ecological Restoration Plan for Mount Auburn Cemetery Retaining and Increasing the Significance of the Cemetery to the City of Baltimore + to Westport Ecological restoration Interpretive Tour Greeting Plaza August 2018 – Studio 520 Washina Ford, Justin Fair, Jessie Hillman

Learn more about Mount Auburn Cemetery

  • Project Timeline
  • Project Partners and Thanks

  • Visit the Cemetery’s websites:

    Browse a full Bibliography