It’s that time of year again–when college basketball teams from all over the United States hope for a place in the NCAA’s March Madness tournament. Well…you may not follow U.S. college basketball, so we’ve decided to host our own competition!
- The “Top” winner in each bracket will receive a $50 Visa gift card redeemable at most retailers
- “Top Two” prize winners will receive a CleanerTec cleaning kit of their choosing (up to a $42.95 value)
- “Top Four” prize winners will receive a pair of capacitive gloves (to keep your fingers warm while still taking pictures!)
- “Top Eight” prize winners will receive a BillionGraves t-shirt
Contributing to the BillionGraves project while winning free stuff? It couldn’t get better than that!
So take advantage of the rising temperatures to capture some 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!Read More
Here’s a shout-out to our top 5 uploaders and transcribers for the month of February:
- elcolpitts (6483)
- Campbell2u (4927)
- Will (3922)
- B Wernex (2684)
- hunteryeary (2631)
- CWiscount (15785)
- bonniecunliffe (9934)
- triskovach (7720)
- DdraigGoch (2975)
- B Wernex (2551)
Congratulations! The BillionGraves team can’t thank you enough for contributing your time and efforts despite chilly winter weather! If you didn’t make the leaderboard this month, go to the leaderboard to see what your rank is!
In transcribing images for BillionGraves as well as other genealogical records, I have been extremely frustrated in trying to decipher blurry, obscured, or faded records. I feel personally responsible when I can’t correctly transcribe an image because I know that means it won’t be accessible for anyone to search for later on. And that’s the whole goal of our project, right?
So I’ve compiled 7 ways you—as as a photographer of these valuable, fading records—can improve every image you take and therefore make both transcribers and genealogists love you forever (and I mean forever)!
1. Frame your photo well.
The headstone you are photographing should fill up as much of the frame as possible without cutting off any of the headstone.
2. Take pictures at the right angle.
The more straight-on your picture is, the better. Taking pictures from any angle besides straight on can distort the words on the headstone and make it nearly impossible to transcribe. For upright monuments, bend down to get a better angle for the picture.
3. Link images correctly.
Some headstones are either too large or are actually made up of two connected headstones. If this is the case, take a picture of the WHOLE headstone first, then take close ups on the different sections of the stone.
MAKE SURE the little chain link in the bottom left corner of your screen is highlighted in blue before taking the close ups!
4. Avoid taking blurry images.
Allow your camera to focus before clicking the green picture button. It’s very tempting to rush through the picture taking process in order to capture more images, but make sure you’re not forfeiting your images because you’re going too fast.
5. Clear off any debris before you take the picture.
Make sure you set aside any decorations and remove any of the debris/growth that is covering up any part of the headstone (you might want to take some grass clippers with you).
And don’t forget to move your feet out of the picture!
6. Make sure the lighting is right.
The best time to take pictures is when the sky is slightly overcast. Different times of the day are better for taking pictures of certain kinds of headstones. In any case, pay attention to how light or dark your picture is. Schedule your trips to the cemetery when the lighting is right and beware of shadows—including your own!
Helpful hint: Consider taking an umbrella, flashlight, mirror, or grab the sunshade from your car to either block out the harsh sunlight or to reflect some light on the back side of headstones that are in the shadows.
7. View your images before you leave the cemetery.
Don’t forget to make sure they turned out okay! This is the equivalent of checking your answers before you turn in your test: go back and review your photos so every record on BillionGraves will get an A for Accuracy!
What things have you found make the best pictures? Anything I missed? I’d love to hear from both photographers AND transcribers!Read More
The BillionGraves/My Legacy Memorial team was very excited about our experience at the MBNA Monument Industry show this month. We met a lot of fantastic people and were excited to see the latest and greatest in the industry.
At the show, the team also announced the new Legacy Mobile app with its groundbreaking technology: LegacyTec. The response we received was overwhelmingly positive from people both at the show and online. Our announcement was published in the news:
as well as on multiple blogs/websites:
But perhaps the biggest success of the show was reaching out to a new user base for BillionGraves. We were able to share our vision with Monument Builders, Mortuary Managers, and Cemetery Owners from all over the nation. They are excited about the BillionGraves project because it allows them to make sure all monuments under their care are being maintained properly, are in good condition and that these records will be preserved not only in their physical location but online as well.
In turn, this means that they will be able to contribute newly placed headstones to BillionGraves if, say, someone has already photographed the whole cemetery prior to that placing. No need to worry, BillionGraves contributors, we have your back!
Overall we were thrilled to rub shoulders with the leaders in the industry and are excited to work with them in the future!
To find out more information about our affiliate program, please visit our affiliate page at http://billiongraves.com/affiliate.php.Read More
Otter Creek Holdings—in conjunction with BillionGraves, My Legacy Memorial, and Legacy Mobile—is proud to announce the release of groundbreaking technology in Family History: LegacyTec. Hudson Gunn, Vice President of Otter Creek Holdings, announced it at MBNA’s Industry show this weekend.
LegacyTec gives you access to all the information connected to a certain headstone based on a picture. All you do is take a picture of a headstone, and this technology will bring up information about that headstone from BillionGraves, Family Search, My Legacy Memorial and other sites. LegacyTec supersedes the QR codes you currently see on headstones by eliminating the need for them all together.
LegacyTec uses the latest and greatest in technology to bring up any information about headstones based on their GPS coordinates so that anyone with a smartphone in a cemetery can take a picture and find out more about the particular headstone they are visiting. Because of Otter Creek Holdings’ wide base of partnerships with other genealogical companies (i.e. FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, Archives, My Heritage and more) this technology will make Family History research through multiple resources easier by incorporating innovative technology.
This new technology will also eliminate the need for QR codes by making online memorials (created through My Legacy Memorial) available by simply taking a picture of the headstone.
We are very excited about the impact this top-notch technology will have on BillionGraves and the genealogy community as a whole. With the click of a single button, access to pictures, videos, stories and actual genealogy information about the person buried there will be easily accessible, making researching your family history new and engaging!
Stay tuned for the release of Legacy Mobile (with LegacyTec) to the App store and Google Play coming soon!
Watch the video to see how you will be able to use it!Read More