The final results are in and the numbers speak for themselves! 728,751 photos were taken, 589,361 records were transcribed(with an additional 750,000 images waiting to be transcribed)! With over 4,500 new BillionGraves users! In total volunteers made over 1,318,112 contributions during the month of June!
BillionGraves is growing faster than ever by uploading 1 million photos in 33 days and transcribing 1 million records in 39 days! Check out our info–graphic below or follow the link to see where the last million records came from! -> CLICK HERE!
What an incredible feat! Considering last June(2013) we grew from 251,787 photos, 271,613 transcriptions, and 1,811 new users. That is INCREDIBLE! THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS AROUND THE WORLD FOR YOUR COUNTLESS HOURS VOLUNTEERING! We couldn’t do it without you!
A special congratulations to: LiaLee, rmconnie, FionaNZ, for uploading more than 50,000 photos and earning your very own iPad Mini! Thank you for going the extra mile and achieving such an incredible goal!
Also a special thank you to the top 50 photographers and transcribers who have won our collectors Win the Pin for June!
Winners: An email will be sent to your BG email by July 5, 2014 with instructions to claim your prize. A 2nd email with instructions will be sent to iPad Mini winners. Please complete both forms for redemption of prizes.Read More
Let’s admit it. We all like new stuff. The only thing better than new stuff is new FREE stuff! Well, we are here to make your week a little better by introducing our new transcription page and enhanced record connector to FamilySearch! For the past several weeks we have been working tirelessly to make some much needed improvements to our transcription page! Including enhancements that allow you to filter headstones by language, country, and by cemetery! Now you can transcribe the records that YOU want to transcribe in the language and location YOU want! We’ve also condensed the fields to include buttons and fields that are used the most so navigating around the page should be easier and smoother. On top of this, we have updated all the code for this page as well. Meaning it is running on the latest and greatest code, making it faster, smoother, and more reliable. This also allows us to add the additional features that you have all been asking for faster than ever before! We also added more help features and mouse-over prompts to help those that are transcribing for the first time. If you need help on a particular stone or not quite sure what to do, click on the “?” on the bottom to find some helpful tips! For those of you that LOVE FamilySearch; Every transcription on BillionGraves will immediately be searched against FamilySearch’s Family Tree and connected! No more navigating from website to website to connect ancestors! If we find a match we’ll tell you! Just click the “Match” button after transcription and poof, your record is automatically connected! That’s right, it’s now THAT easy! You don’t need to do anything special to get to this page. Just transcribe records as usual. Once we find a match between the record you just transcribed and FamilySearch’s Family Tree, we’ll display to possible match.(No FamilySearch account needed) If the match is an actual match, click on the check mark button to instantly connect it to FamilySearch. If it’s not, click on the red “X”. If you are not sure and need more help, click on the “?” or click on the name of the person, which will take you to the FamilySearch website to do more research before you make the connection. NOTE: The FamilySearch connect button will only appear if a connection is found on FamilySearch’s Family Tree and it is believed to have a high enough accuracy to connect the two records together. We hope you like these new enhancements to our transcription page and connections to the FamilySearch Family Tree. Take it for a whirl and let us know what you think on BG facebook page!Read More
The BillionGraves team is proud to announce that we have reached 9,000,000 million records, and 109,394 users! This is a big milestone in growth of BillionGraves! 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!
We are reaching each Million Mark faster and faster each time around. This time, it only took 39 days for our transcribers to create another million records! We are photographing headstones at a break-neck speed! Taking only 33 days to take 1 million pictures! With new partnerships and dedicated contributors, we are growing our headstone record database internationally! With 580,000 records coming from the US, that means that nearly 420,000 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 9,000,000 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:
Riverside Cemetery, Illinois, USA: 62,384 Records
United Kingdom: 466,686
New Zealand: 99,176
The Netherlands: 39,765
We are delighted to announce the latest (and greatest) Android application is now available on the Google Play store! 2.3 Version 41
Thanks to our users for their feedback and testing of the new Android version. With your help we’ve been able to make a lot of improvements on the app like:
!!BEFORE YOU UPDATE TO THE NEW VERSION, MAKE SURE ALL IMAGES HAVE BEEN UPLOADED!!
Once you have downloaded it, be sure to test out the app and let us know what you think! Please write a review on the Google Play store as well so others will be able to find us!Read More
Yesterday, our friends over at Ancestry.com say they were hit by what’s called a DDoS Attack, or a “Distributed Denial of Service” attack. It has temporarily shut down Ancestry.com and their affiliated mobile application, Find A Grave, which is frustrating for the company and users alike. In the last 12 hours, BillionGraves has been inundated with questions from all over the place about this attack, wondering how it happens and if BillionGraves is prepared for something similar. While the attack has shut things down for a moment for Ancestry, it’s important to understand what a DDoS attack is, and what WE, and other companies, do to try to prevent them.
What is a DDoS attack?
While we could give you a long, drawn-out answer, we think the website HowStuffWorks.com gave a great response, found HERE
“The idea is pretty simple — a [hacker] tells all the computers on his botnet to contact a specific server or Web site (In this case Ancestry.com/Findagrave.com) repeatedly. The sudden increase in traffic can cause the site to load very slowly for legitimate users. Sometimes the traffic is enough to shut the site down completely.”
To simplify it even further, hackers try to make a website so slow with fake traffic that the website ultimately crashes.
Why do people do this?
Why do people steal? Cheat? We don’t know… Possibly boredom or a challenge. Maybe revenge? To quote Batman’s butler, Alfred, “Some people just want to watch the world burn.” While these attacks can be momentarily debilitating for a website, it’s important to note that, usually in specific cases of a DDoS attacks, hackers aren’t capturing any portions of anyone’s personal information. They’re simply using an army of fake computers (zombies, if you will), to “attack” and bog down the company’s website. All the information stored there is safe and secure, IF secured correctly.
What do companies do to avoid this?
There are several safe guards that a company can implement to protect their sites from malicious attacks. Unfortunately, there’s not much a company can do with a DDoS attack. Companies like BillionGraves (and Ancestry) hire entire herds of engineers just to keep a website safe and running. It’s a tiresome, time consuming, and thankless position that often goes unnoticed. During a DDoS attack, a system administrator can block specific users, or IP addresses, or start limiting traffic to the website, but it’s extremely difficult to know where the origin of the attacks are coming from. Many of these “attackers” spoof their addresses, making them harder to identify. In most cases, the system administrator has to take the website down and regroup to ensure their site is safe, which is exactly what Ancestry.com is doing at the moment.
All in all, while DDoS attacks appear to be harmless, they can significantly disrupt operations for a website. Companies make their livelihoods with their websites, and these attacks are taken seriously. While no website is 100% immune to these attacks, we have a solid and intelligent team of computer nerds working around the clock to keep BillionGraves safe and running!
Waiting for Ancestry.com to come back online? Go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather at your local cemetery and snap a few pictures! Register for BillionGraves now! It’s FREE… and working!