[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/05/24/memorial.fallen.troops/art.fallen.map.motf.jpg caption="With the Google Earth layer, users can click on service members' names, hometowns and profiles."]
(CNN) - Each year on Memorial Day, tens of thousands of Americans visit Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington to pay tribute to the men and women who died serving the United States.
For people who are unable to make the trip, a new online memorial provides a unique way to honor those service members who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new Google Earth layer, called Map the Fallen, enables the user to pinpoint where, when, and how each service member died since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. A line connects the service member's approximate location of death to his or her hometown.
The interactive tool - available at mapthefallen.org - also offers a detailed profile of each person.
Sean Askay, a Google engineer with no military affiliation who developed the layer in his free time, explains the project on his blog.
"I have created a map for Google Earth that will connect you with each of their stories - you can see photos, learn about how they died, visit memorial Web sites with comments from friends and families, and explore the places they called home and where they died," he writes.
The layer works on a timeline system, so it shows each U.S. and coalition troop death chronologically, dating back to the first one in Afghanistan on October 10, 2001. The user can search for a fallen service member by name, age, gender, hometown, or location of death.