Million More in May Madness 2015
Happy May 1st, BillionGravers!
That’s right. It’s already May and you know what that means! We’ve made it to our most exciting month of the year. It’s warm outside, the trees are green, the flowers have bloomed, and it’s time for our favorite event of the year – The 3rd Annual Million More in May Competition! We have an AMAZING prize this year! Keep reading to find out what we are giving away to all BG users who participate!
What is it?
The Million More in May Competition is a friendly event geared towards adding 1 Million (yes, that’s a 1 with six zeros behind it!) unique images, and 1 Million additional records transcribed and added to the BillionGraves database. Last year we got 938,000 photos and 718,000 transcriptions! With all the new users and wonderful weather we could easily reach our 1 million record goal, and make a lot of people, looking for those records, eternally grateful for the hard work.
If you have one, pull out your calculator watches and lets look at how EASY reaching 1 million records really is!
- We have 153,798 BillionGraves Users
- Our goal is to reach 1,000,000 records
If only 1% of our users (1538 users) go out and takes only 650 photos or transcribes 650 records, we will easily hit the 1 million photos and transcriptions mark!
If every one of our 153,798 users go out and takes only 7 images or transcribes 7 records, we will hit the 1 million photos and transcriptions mark!
It is VERY easy to hit our 1 million photo and record goal, but we NEED YOUR HELP TO DO IT!!
Now, for those of you that really want to help and earn something while you are at it, we are stepping it up this month and bringing back a GREAT prize!
(Let’s face it, everyone likes FREE stuff!)
As always, the greatest reward for your efforts comes from knowing that you are preserving invaluable genealogical records as well as making them readily available for family members to locate. It’s not worth getting 1 million records if they aren’t done correctly!!
PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE follow all the guidelines for taking the “PERFECT” picture! Need a refresher? Read this great article about the 7 ways to become the photographer that every genealogists loves! Remember with our new photo rating system that our transcribers will be making sure that QUALITY photos are the only kind of photos acceptable! Any blurry or poor photos will removed from your total. We love doing competitions like this, but we all need to remember that quality is ALWAYS better than quantity!
|Note: All photos and transcriptions will be audited throughout the competition. Any photos that do not adhere to the strict guidelines found in the article HERE will be disqualified from the competition.|
However, we’ve got a little something that might help get you outside and into the cemeteries with your smartphones (Download the iOS App HERE, Download the Android App HERE, Download the Windows App HERE) –
If you upload 50,000 unique images, or transcribe 50,000 records, we will give you a brand new, 16GB (4G-LTE capable) Apple iPad Mini! How’s that for an incentive?
That’s right, this isn’t a drawing for one iPad mini! EVERY user that uploads over 50,000 unique photos or transcribes 50,000 records will get their very own iPad mini, straight from Apple and unlocked to be compatible with any cell carrier.*
*For users in countries where Apple products are not offered or compatible with carriers you will receive a gift card of equivalent or equal value.*
A SPECIAL NOTE FROM BILLIONGRAVES:
Taking 50,000 photos and transcribing 50,000 records is no small feat! Only a small handful of people have ever achieved it, and they did it for free! This time, we want to show our users, who really go the extra mile, our gratitude! We know not everyone will be able to reach 50,000. It would not be such an accomplishment if it were easy!
We want to give an iPad away to everyone!! Unfortunately, BillionGraves is a FREE site and we want to keep it that way! Remember, our goal is to document the world’s cemeteries and make it available to anyone and everyone for FREE!
We like to spice things up every now and then with prizes and give-aways! So for anyone who wants to step up and be apart of a very small elite group of volunteers, this month’s prize is just for you!
Some Helpful Tips
• Register! It’s 100% free and 100% necessary if you’re going to participate in this competition. Make sure once you register that you verify your email! To claim your prize we will communicate with you through the email you provide and verify.
• Make it a habit. Go to the cemetery regularly—incorporate a local cemetery into your daily walk or bike ride, and snap some pictures along the way.
• Follow your progress on our leaderboard! We have fancy graphics that will track your progress every step of the way! The leaderboard is not in real time. Please allow 24 hours for numbers to reflect accurately! Remember that photos that are flagged by transcribers will be removed from your totals, so the totals may vary daily. Don’t forget you can always correct any images that are flagged. Learn more about fixing flagged images here.
• A word of advice: don’t wait for Memorial Day. The decorations at the cemetery for that holiday actually make it MORE difficult to collect images—people have to transcribe the content, and flower arrangements and other decorations can easily obscure that important content.
• Contest begins May 1, 2015 and ends May 31, 2015 @ 12:00 am GMT (That’s 6 pm MST)
| A great way to reach your goal is to grab your friends and head out to the cemetery as a group!
If everyone in the group logs their different devices into one account, your efforts will be combined, making it easier to hit your goal! Once you hit the 50,000 photo goal or 50,000 transcription goal, switch it up and combine efforts under another person in the group and earn multiple devices!
So make it a group effort! Get a few friends/family members out at a time, log in to the same account, and take as many pictures as you can in one outing. For example, a husband/wife team could get an iPad Mini together by taking 25,000 images each, which is less than many users do in a month by themselves.
Note: Only one prize will be given per username, and will be shipped to the username the efforts are performed under.
One change we are making this year is allowing you to combine photos and transcriptions! For example if you take 25,000 photos and transcribe 25,000 records you will earn an iPad Mini! How cool is that! That way you can take your own photos AND transcribe them! The 14 day photo hold will still be in effect during the competition. So any photos you take you have first dibs!
“What?! BillionGraves isn’t really going to give out an iPad… are they?!”
YES we really are giving out an iPad mini! Still don’t believe us? Ask Nancy Alford, Melyssawebb, jodie1, Paulwuzhere, William, FionaNZ or liallee and see if we were kidding? Here is Fiona enjoying the iPad mini she won during a competition last year!
The Fine Print. (Cause we have to have fine print, right?)
- All photos and transcriptions must be submitted before the closing date of May 31, 2015 @ 12:00 am GMT (That’s 6 pm MST). Any submissions after that point will be excluded from the final results.
- This promotion is intended for photographers and transcribers. Let’s go outside!
- Supporting records will NOT be counted towards the monthly totals. Only images that originate from the genuine BillionGraves apps will be accepted.
- If you or another user marks a headstone picture as “bad” we deduct it from the uploader’s total images.
- For transcribers, we will be looking extra hard at the quality of transcriptions as well. We will erase the record and have it re-transcribed if it’s not done correctly. Any record not transcribed correctly will be deducted from your total.
- In the off chance that we don’t have enough images to transcribe, GO TAKE PICTURES! We will allow both photos taken and transcriptions completed to count.
- Make sure you have permission and are welcome to take pictures in your local cemetery before doing so. Remember, private cemeteries require permission of the owner before taking any pictures. No one likes a trespasser! Not cool!
- This promotion is open to all to participate ages 13 and above for free. Registration is required. (Register HERE. Come on.You know you want to. It’s free!)
- More than one individual may contribute to a single account, however, the limit is one prize redemption per BillionGraves account. The prize will be claimed by only the username the combined work was completed under. BillionGraves will not arbitrate any disputes. ALL RECORDS MUST BE UNDER ONE ACCOUNT. BILLIONGRAVES WILL NOT COMBINE ACCOUNTS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.
- Items will ship in 6-8 weeks after contest closes for winners in the U.S. Please allow 8-12 weeks for winners outside the U.S. However, our shipment robots are getting faster!
- Due to current world-unrest, some areas may increase the amount of time it takes for prizes to be delivered. If for some reason your country isn’t compatible with iPad Mini, we will work with you to provide you with a prize that is equal in value.
- Recipients will be required to provide a mailing address for physical items.
- Winner will be required to provide completed tax forms for redemption of the prize
- REQUIRED: ALL PRIZES MUST BE CLAIMED WITH PROPER MAILING/DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS BY THE 15TH OF JUNE OR YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE PRIZE! WE WILL SEND OUT CONFIRMATION EMAILS BY THE 3RD OF JUNE. IF YOU DON’T RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL ASKING FOR YOUR ADDRESS, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING IT TO US BY THE 15TH AT HTTP://BILLIONGRAVES.COM/SUPPORT.
We’re super excited for this amazing competition! Now, get outside and earn yourself a free iPad Mini! Good luck!
-The BillionGraves TeamRead More
The BillionGraves team is proud to announce that we have reached 13,000,000 million GPS headstone records, and 147,022 users! This is a big milestone in growth of BillonGraves! Thanks to all the contributors around the world! For those of you who prefer to see stats in a pretty little picture, we’ve created this small info graphic for you!
Even with the cold weather and feet of snow in some areas of the world, our contributors are still cranking out millions of records! This time, it only took 79 days for our transcribers to create another million records! With new partnerships and dedicated contributors, we are growing our headstone record database internationally! With 506,405 records coming from the US, that means that nearly 495,000 records are coming from outside the US! That is a huge change for us and a huge advantage to those searching for ancestors overseas!
We want to thank everyone who helped us reach 13,000,000 so quickly! We couldn’t have done it without the wonderful contributors who are visiting and photographing cemeteries throughout the world as well as all those transcribing all those images!
If you want some additional stats to feed your craving, here are some additional statistics:
2. (2) Australia: 980,396
3. (4) Canada: 672,385
4. (3) United Kingdom: 609,556
5. (5) New Zealand: 233,801
It’s March again–and basketball fury’s in the air. The NCAA’s March Madness tournament has begun! U.S. College basketball might not be for you, so we’ve decided to host our own BillionGraves competition! It’s the “March 2015 BillionGraves Madness”!
|Top Prize:||$50 Amazon Gift Card|
|Top Two:||Portable Device Charger (a $25 value)*|
|Top Four:||BillionGraves T-Shirt*|
|Top Eight:||BillionGraves Original Collectors Pin|
|Top 100:||BillionGraves 1 Month BG+ Subscription|
*For international winners, due to shipping restraints by shipping providers, a gift card worth the same USD monetary value to the prize you have won will be sent to your BillionGraves registered email within 4-6 weeks of the close the competition.
It can’t be any better than doing your favorite thing- taking pictures of headstones and transcribing them, AND winning prizes!
So take advantage of the rising temperatures to capture some headstone images at your local cemetery or get your transcribing game on. The more you do, the higher up on the bracket you’ll be! You won’t want to miss out on these awesome prizes!
-All images uploaded from midnight (GMT) March 1st to midnight (GMT) March 31st 2015 are counted toward the March Madness Competition.
-Make sure you have permission and are welcome to take pictures in your local cemetery before doing so. Remember, private cemeteries require permission of the owner before taking any pictures.
-If you or another user marks a headstone picture as “bad” we deduct it from the uploader’s total images.
-Winners will be announced at the end of the month on the BillionGraves blog. Prizes must be claimed by the 15th of the following month via email to qualify for shipment of prizes.
-Promotion is open to all to participate for free. Registration is required.
-More than one individual may contribute to a single account, however, the limit is one prize redemption per BillionGraves account. [UPDATE: If user places in the bracket they will receive the prize pertaining to their standing and not the sum of all prizes. However; all 50 top transcribers and photographers will receive the March Pin]
-Items will ship in 6-8 weeks after contest closes for winners in the U.S. Please allow 8-12 for winners outside the U.S.
-Recipients will be required to provide a mailing address for physical items.
-All images must be uploaded/transcribed no later than midnight (GMT) on the last day of the month.
Day 2 of RootsTech and FGS 2015 means our 2nd exciting new partnership! If you missed our release yesterday with FGS and genealogical societies around the world read the article here:
Now back to our exciting new announcement!
Industry leaders are working together to make more than 12 million grave markers available to everyone, making it easier for families to discover their unique story for free.
Salt Lake City, Utah, 12 February 2015. Findmpast and BillionGraves announced today that they will partner to add more than 12 million grave marker indexes to family history websites mocavo.com and findmypast.com. With the shared goal of making family history more accessible to everyone, this unique content will be available on all three websites for free.
New records: 12 Million Grave Marker Indexes Available for Free
The partnership will offer all Findmypast and Mocavo subscribers free access to more than 12 million headstone records including GPS tagged headstone indexes and images that will link back to BillionGraves.com.
BillionGraves preserves precious records found in cemeteries throughout the world, using modern technology to capture images of headstones with their GPS locations so users from across the world can access those records anywhere.
Findmypast is making it easier for everybody to discover their family history. The BillionGraves mission complements that goal, and along with Findmypast’s commitment to offer more free data and innovative search tools, the BillionGraves partnership will make it easier for everybody to explore their family’s story and bring their past to life.
The two organizations will also work together to provide other initiatives that will help make family history and preservation efforts more accessible to the entire community.
Findmypast Executive Vice President Ben Bennett said, “This new partnership will help our customers to make new connections in their research. It marks another step in Findmypast’s journey to make more data accessible for more people who want to connect with their family.”
Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves said, “We are delighted to work with Findmypast to make the BillionGraves collection accessible to their growing user base world-wide. At BillionGraves we are working to provide a comprehensive family history database for records and images of the world’s cemeteries-but it’s not something we can do alone. Collaborating with Findmypast in this and other initiatives in the future will provide incredible value for millions of families and preserve this valuable data for generations to come”.
Findmypast is an international leader in online family history and genealogy research with customers and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Its searchable online archive includes over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and making family connections.
Findmypast has an unrivalled record of innovation in the field of family history, and works closely with the genealogy community, including local libraries, archives, societies, and other organizations from around the world, to preserve, digitize, and provide access to historical records. Findmypast’s historical records, advanced search tools and accurate data work together to help both professional and budding genealogists discover, explore and share their family stories.
With more than 12 million GPS headstone records created by more than 140,000 volunteers in just 3 short years, BIllionGraves is the largest resource for GPS gravestone and burial record data on the web. BillionGraves collection reaches every country and supports 25 languages for desktop, iOS, Android, and now Windows phones making it the most versatile application for genealogists all over the world. BillionGraves’ mobile GPS tracking technology in its mobile applications perpetuates this progress, bringing a wealth of genealogical information right to your fingertips.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
To kick start this great new partnership, we have teamed up to offer a yearly World Subscription for 50% exclusively to all of our users! To take advantage of this great deal and gain access to their exclusive collections around the world visit HERE, or use coupon code BGFMP50 during checkout!
Buy today as this offer is only available for a limited time! So take advantage of this great offer from Findmypast and BillionGraves!
Thank you again to all our volunteers around the world who make this possible! We couldn’t be growing so fast without all of your hard work!
Exciting things are in store for you at BillionGraves.
-The BillionGraves Team
BillionGraves Photo Requests:
Photo Requests and Maximizing their Potential!
The Photo Request tool is a great new feature on BillionGraves. It has been optimized and revamped to help the hundreds of thousands of users and requests we have at BillionGraves!
First of all, what is a BillionGraves Photo Request?
Photo Requests are requests from a BillionGraves registered user for one or more photos to be taken in a specific cemetery. The user is looking for a particular headstone and is requesting that another BillionGraves volunteer that lives nearby, go find the headstone and take a photo of it for them.
Many of you have already utilized the tremendous power of the Photo Request board and have gone to social media to share your experiences! Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers who are so eager to help other genealogists in need!
What does a Photo Request look like?
As many of you have noticed, emails of new Photo Requests are now being sent to your BillionGraves registered email for requests that are near your location.
Here is an example of a Photo Request email:
How do I Help with a New Request?
It is very easy to help with a Photo Request! First you need to Accept the Request.
To do this, simply click on “Accept Request” in the email or on the request board HERE. By accepting the request, you are now able to communicate with the user who requested the photo. Use the comment board if you have more questions about the request, or need additional information in order to fulfill the request.
Notice that multiple people can accept the request and collaborate to get the photo, transcribe, and even provide additional sources and information regarding the grave-site. You can always accept and un-accept requests. It’s very easy to do all from the request board HERE.
How do I Fulfill a New Request?
Fulfilling a request is easy. After you have accepted the request on the request board HERE, simply click on “Complete Request” on the top right corner and enter in the record information or other pertinent information to complete the Photo Request.
Please do not click on the “Complete Request” until the photo has been taken, uploaded, and transcribed into a record. If possible, please include the URL to the record pertaining to the photo request!
Already we have had thousands of requests fulfilled by users all over the world! This is an amazing tool whether you are looking for an ancestor in a far away cemetery or an amazing opportunity to help fellow genealogists find their relatives grave-site!
View this wonderful example of our BillionGraves users in action: View Example Request.
Within hours, our BillionGraves users had a photo, source records from multiple partner websites confirming the birth and death dates. City cemetery burial records and even more offerings for additional help with possible other family names! THIS is what BillionGraves and genealogy is all about! Collaboration! Thank you to all who have participated and contributed to requests!
Tip and Tricks for Photo Requests:
Now that you know the basics of the Photo Requests, here are some tips to make the most out of these requests and to better help those looking for requests.
First thing is to please update your location on your BillionGraves dashboard! HERE
Note: Before continuing, please delete your computer browser’s cache!
The request emails are generated based on your designated location on your dashboard. (Which unless you provided it for us, is automatically generated from your IP address when you registered. Which can often times be very different than your actual location!)
Grab the white/grey dot in the center of the circle and drag it to your location. Then click the blue “Save” button above. This will update your requests to be more relevant to you.
Learn by watching? Follow along with this short video to update your location in seconds!
If you click anywhere inside the grey circle and drag it anywhere in the world, it will update the list of requests for that area.
You can also grab one of the white dots on the edge of the circle to expand your search results area! Discover where people are requesting photos around the world!With your help, we’ll continue to see a LOT more requests that look like this!
As always, we are incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers and supporters around the world! We know we could not do what we love and help families around the world without your help and support!
-The BillionGraves Family!
BillionGraves is and will always be FREE for everyone to search and contribute! BillionGraves Plus is an OPTIONAL ADD-ON feature that provides enhanced insight into the records that have been collected!
*No purchase necessary to participate to earn BillionGraves Plus. This feature is available to every registered BillionGraves user. Registration to BillionGraves is 100% FREE!. Monthly totals are calculated on the first day of each month and conclude on the 1st day of the following month. Bad/flagged photos or transcriptions will not count toward monthly totals.
- Start by registering for your free account now -> HERE
- Download the FREE app for your iOS and Android devices
- Head out to your nearest cemetery and start taking pictures!
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