I share your desire for better GPS recording and reporting tools. I don’t consider RM’s mapping and GPS tools to be anywhere near adequate for recording such things as individual grave sites, locations of old farm houses, and the like.
I gather GPS coordinates for gravesites using a handheld GPS device that is designed for such things. I acquired it originally for back country hiking and geocaching and that’s what it’s really designed for. It’s just that it’s also handy for genealogy. It is much more accurate than my smart phone. It usually reports an accuracy under three meters, whereas my phone usually reports accuracy of no more than six meters at the best.
My device really reports accuracy of under nine feet, but that’s more or less the same as three meters. I find that the actual accuracy is usually better than that as follows. I can return to the same cemetery a few weeks later, begin a half mile or so away from the gravesite in question, and use a tool on the GPS device to walk to the gravesite. It will usually get me within a foot or two (less than a meter), which seems plenty good enough to me. I can also plug the GPS coordinates into Google Maps in satellite view and zoom in and the pin will be located right on the gravesite in question.
I have a custom fact in RM called Burial GPS where I record the GPS coordinates. I use a sort date to place the Burial GPS fact immediately after the actual Burial fact. I record the GPS coordinates twice in the Burial GPS fact - once in the Description field and once as a private note in the Note field. The GPS coordinates from the Description field appear in printed reports for family reunions. The GPS coordinates from the private note in the Note field are embedded in a URL which will create a clickable link to Google Maps with a pin on the gravesite when I publish my data to my Web site.
I hear the suggestion to geocode gravesites using RM’s Place Details feature all the time. But I can’t understand any rational way to do so. For example, I have dozens of burials recorded for Greenwood Cemetery in Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee. One real example is at GPS coordinates 36.031402,-83.915407. I can’t think of anyway using RM’s built-in capabilities to associate those coordinates with the Place Details field of Greenwood Cemetery in such a way that the coordinates for that particular gravesite will appear in RM’s printed reports and that will appear on my Web site when I publish my data online. And I can plug my GPS device into my computer and extract data from it without needing to type the data into my computer.
Well, I don’t use Place Details anyway because Place Details are too likely to be lost when I transfer my data to other genealogy software. But whether I geocode this particular gravesite just to the Place Details of Greenwood Cemetery or whether I geocode this particular gravesite to the full place name of Greenwood Cemetery in Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, I don’t see how that really works. How do I distinguish that gravesite from other gravesites at the same cemetery?
I suppose you could add a plot number of some kind to the cemetery name in the Place field or in the Place Details field, but most of my cemeteries really don’t have plot numbers or anything like that. I would have to create my own plot numbers that wouldn’t mean anything to anybody else. And even if I did that, the coordinates would not appear in printed reports or on my Web page based the way RM stores the GPS coordinates.
For an example of my Web site, see Sample of RM data published online GEDCOM and Gedsite software Scroll down to the Burial GPS fact and click on it. You will be taken to Google Maps. You can zoom out to see where in the cemetery to drive to get that particular burial site. You can zoom in to see precisely where that particular gravesite is. The Google Maps pin in this case is to a flat to the ground marker instead of to an above the ground stone, and the flat to the ground marker is too small to see from Google Maps. But you can see many nearby above ground stones. Until RM’s geocoding can produce this sort of data for me, I’m not much interested in RM’s geocoding. By the way, to the far right of the Burial GPS fact, you can click on the small blue box and see the actual data that came out of my handheld GPS device.