App locates graves at Punchbowl - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

App locates graves at Punchbowl

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The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl
Daniel Zhang Daniel Zhang
NMCP Finder NMCP Finder
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Name a name.  If he or she is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, Daniel Zhang will know it.

"I did my very best to make everything as accurate and complete as possible," he said.

The 41-year-old software engineer created an iPhone App that can locate every burial at Punchbowl, all 55,000 of them.

"What I had to deal with was being able to arrange all the graves on a map, and being able to assign all off the different burials to each grave," he said..

Users can search by name, date of birth or date of death.

Michele Matsuura and Diane Shimazu were looking for Sen. Daniel Inouye's grave. They found it in minutes using Zhang's grave finder.

"It's so accessible. Anyone can do it," Matsuura said.

"It's very fast," Shimazu said.

Zhang also found Sen. Spark Matsunaga's grave site in Section V and World War II journalist Ernie Pyle's burial in Section D. Even graves marked "unknown" are known by the program.

Zhang spent six months researching, creating, and field testing the App on his own time and his own dime.

"It made me really get a feel for the history of the Punchbowl that I really didn't have before," he said.

Punchbowl is the first national cemetery under Veteran's Affairs to have an App like the NMCP Finder.

"Everything is made to fit, to conform to the natural outline of Punchbowl crater," Zhang said.

He created the App for veteran's families and the millions of visitors who tour the cemetery every year.

"To be able to use my skills and apply technology in a way that can be really helpful, I hope that's what it accomplishes," he said.

The NMCP Finder is free at the iTunes store.

 

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