Tolomato Historical Cemetery (Florida)

Tomolato Cemetery

In Spring 2019, a team of IDEx conducted the overall virtualization of the complex of the historical Tolomato cemetery (18th century - 1884) at St. Augustine (Florida), in partnership with Tolomato Cemetery Preservation Association, Terrestial laserscanning was employed to digitize the entire site and to create an accurate record of its condition at the time of the fieldwork. Digital photogrammetry was also used to digitize 94 gravestones and the mortuary chapel vault in which Bishop Agustin Verot, the first bishop of St. Augustine was interred.

The Site

Tomolato Cemetery

Tolomato Cemetery is located in St Augustine, Florida, the oldest European-founded city in the United States, and was in use as a cemetery from the 18th century until 1884. This beautiful space is the last resting place of some 1,000 St. Augustinians, including many people important to the history of Florida and the United States. It is a distillation of St Augustine history in less than one acre, starting with the First Spanish Period, when Tolomato was a Franciscan mission, and going through its use as a cemetery during the British Period and the Second Spanish Period and then on through Florida's Territorial and early Statehood periods.

Virtualization and Data Curation

Aerial view of Tolomato Cemetery

Of the 105 gravestones and vault tombs in the cemetery, 92 we digitized employing digital photogrammetry, being the other thirteen ones in poor condition of covered by thick vegetation. In addition the Agustin Verot' mortuary chapel was virtualized inside and out..The historical metadata were extrapolated from the book of Matthew Kear 'In Reverence: A plan for the Preservation of Tolomato Cemetery, St. Augustine, Florida', Lulu 2011, supplemented by original research and curated in accordance with the guidelines of the Dublin Core metadata schema.

Global Digital Dissemination

The 3D models of all the gravestones and of the Verot chapel were initially disseminated online on the USF IDEx Sketchfab page and received with great enthusiam by scholars and general public.

More recently the current ad hoc web platform housed on a USF server and maintaned by USF IT has been launched in order to disseminate the metadata in a more user friendly interface. 3D printing has been also employed to create a physical replica of the entire collection for school outreach an community outreach purposes. 

Tolomato Map
student setting up equipment in cemetery


student viewing tomb in cemetery


student photographing tomb in cemetery


equipment set up in cemetery


student with equipment in cemetery


student photographing tomb in cemetery


tomb in Tolomato cemetery


Tolomato Cemetery side view


Tolomato Cemetery sideview trees


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