BillionGraves Summer of More!
We’re only a few weeks into Summer and we can’t get enough. Like you, we want Summer to last as long as possible! For that reason, we’re excited to announce our next promotion to get you and your friends outside, enjoying the sun. We’re calling it the “Summer of More”—but you can think of it as prizes and promotions within more prizes and promotions – Prize-ception!
From July 1st through September 30th, the number of pictures you take and headstones you transcribe on a monthly basis will not only qualify you for the monthly prize giveaways AND the Pin Contest, but your grand total at the end of the summer will qualify you for the Summer of More Grand Prize – a 1-week vacation with 5-Star accommodations, anywhere in the world!* Do we have your attention now? Good! But, more on this in a minute. Let’s talk about this month.
So, what are we up to in July?
For the month of July, we’ll be focusing on military headstones. Find a Veteran’s or Memorial Cemetery near you by using our “Cemetery Lookup” function, found under our Search button, found HERE:
Filter results by country, state and county. Then, use keywords like “Military”, “Veteran”, “National” or “Memorial” to find military cemeteries near your location. Another great resource to find military cemeteries near you is to use the VA’s website HERE.
Military cemeteries are highly concentrated and can provide you with several hours’ worth of photos. Be sure to grab some sunscreen, some water, a few snacks and some friends, and you could snap several thousand records in a single outing!
Also this month we have partnered with The Federation of Genealogical Societies to document and preserve the graves of the participants of the war of 1812. Anyone with knowledge of a cemetery marker for a War of 1812 veteran, upload the image of the marker to the BillionGraves website (www.billiongraves.com) using our free mobile application during the month of July to honor and remember the service of those who served in the “Second Revolution”. Check out the full release HERE and don’t forget to donate to PreserveThePensions.org to help preserve these records for generations!
Special Note- Be sure to know where you’re going ahead of time. Take notice of military funerals or memorials taking place. Be sure to respect the area and avoid taking pictures if a memorial is happening in that general area. There are plenty of other locations to document! Keep it goin’!
The Win the Pin contest with continue as normal – the top 50 photographers and the top 50 transcribers will win the pin for July! So make sure you are on the leaderboard so you don’t miss out on these collectors pins! This month’s pin turned out better than we imagined! The picture doesn’t give it justice! You will NOT want to miss this one!
New Picture Ranking System
This month, we’re also excited to announce our new Picture Ranking System! To make sure that quality photos are being uploaded, Transcribers now have the ability to rank every photo that passes through their hands by giving them a Thumbs Up (great photo!) or a Thumbs Down (Needs some improvement…). Transcribers will rate each photo based on the photographers quality picture and NOT the quality of the headstone.
You will find these new functions on the transcription pages where you can easily select a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down rating for each image on every record. This system will be live July 3rd!
If you select a thumbs down rating, we want to know why! A thumbs down will “report” the image and ask you why it was a bad picture. Was the picture blurry or unreadable? Is the headstone unreadable? etc. This is extremely important because only photos that are blurry or unreadable are counted in the rating. We don’t want to penalize photographers if the headstone is just a stone that is too damaged to read.
Only photos where the image quality is poor will be counted against a photographer’s rating. The other ratings will just help us identify what pictures need extra help or special attention in the future! No grave should be lost or forgotten! So rating them properly will help us give attention where it is needed!
To help you keep track of your status, the user ratings will be displayed on your individual Dashboard and monthly Leaderboard pages. So keep an eye on these pages to up to the minute updates on your ratings!
This is especially important for photographers as we will be basing our prize giveaways on their total number of pictures taken AND their overall picture ranking. Photographers must maintain a photo ranking of a 4 or higher to be eligible to win. We will continue to enhance this feature to provide more and more insights into your transcribing and photographing efforts! For those of you who take the time to take great pictures and transcribe everything on the record, we want you to be noticed for doing a great job!
Transcribers, we’re counting on you to help us with this! You have been asking for this feature and we’re putting it into your hands. Thank you for your help! Obviously, this process will be heavily moderated for accuracy!
Back to the Good Stuff…
As mentioned above, we’re giving away a 1-Week stay at a 5-Star Resort/Experience* anywhere in the world for the photographer and transcriber with the most photos and transcriptions between July 1 and October 1. That’s right, we aren’t just giving away 1 grand prize, we are giving away 2! One to the top photographer with over a 4 star rating and one to the top transcriber with over a 4 star rating!
So whether you prefer an all-inclusive resort in Taiwan, a private yacht through the British Isles, a week in the Swiss Alps, or your own private cabin in the Rockies, you’ll want to jump all over this! To view the available locations check out The Registry Collection HERE or check out some of the photos from the resorts below. (Enlarge the pictures by clicking on them) These aren’t the only resorts that are available. There are resorts literally all over the world!
The winners will have 1 year to schedule a date and location, keeping in mind that the location is subject to availability. The winners will work with the BillionGraves staff to find and schedule their trips. BillionGraves will cover the expense for the week long trip and all fees associated with booking the trip. The winners must pay for all additional expenses (travel, food, souvenirs for the BillionGraves staff :), etc.)
Make this summer your Summer of More with more chances to win. Good luck!
Some Helpful Tips
• Register! It’s 100% free and 100% necessary if you’re going to participate in this competition.
• Like us on Facebook! It’s simple to do and keeps you constantly up to date will all the new amazing things we are doing at BG!
• 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.
• The July Win the Pin Contest begins July 1, 2014 and ends July 31, 2014 @ 12:00 am GMT (That’s 6 pm MST)
• The Summer of More Grand Prize Contest begins July 1, 2014 and ends September 30, 2014 @ 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!
The Summer of More promotion will be a individual and/or group effort. That means that you can get with your friends and family to upload more photos or transcribe more records. Some of the properties can hold 14-20 people! What better way to spend your next family reunion than by doing it with BillionGraves and enjoying an amazing vacation together! If everyone in the group logs their different devices into one account, your efforts will be combined, making it easier to hit your goal!
Note: Only one prize will be given per username. We will NOT combine usernames or accounts so make sure you do it all under the same username!
The Fine Print. (Cause we have to have fine print, right?)
- All photos and transcriptions must be submitted before the closing date of Sept 30, 2014 @ 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.
- We reserve the right, and will actively, audit any winners accounts for good photos and transcriptions.
- Good transcriptions are records that have ALL information accurately and fully transcribed. We will erase the record and have it re-transcribed if it’s not done correctly. Partial or incorrect transcriptions will be deducted from your total.
- Good photos are photos that are in focus, readable, STRAIGHT ON (pictures not taken from extreme angles), and fill the full picture. Just because a photo can be transcribed does NOT mean it is an acceptable photo. Proper technique must be used on all photos submitted.
- 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 ONLY if there are not enough pictures to transcribe.
- 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 for free. Registration is required. (Register HERE. Come on.You know you want to. It’s free!) An individual 18 years of age or older are required to claim the prize.
- 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 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.
- Recipients will be required to provide a mailing address for physical items.
- Winners will be required to provided completed tax forms for redemption of any prize.
- REQUIRED: ALL PRIZES MUST BE CLAIMED WITH PROPER MAILING/DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS BY THE 15TH OF EACH MONTH OR YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE PRIZE! WE WILL SEND OUT CONFIRMATION EMAILS BY THE 3RD OF EACH MONTH. IF YOU DON’T RECEIVE A CONFIRMATION EMAIL ASKING FOR YOUR ADDRESS, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING IT TO US BY THE 15TH AT SUPPORT@BILLIONGRAVES.COM.
-The BillionGraves Team
*See website for locations and availability. 600 “credits” through the Registry Collection will be allotted to each winner to use in their scheduling. Different locations and time of season will vary in “credits”. Any size room, location, and resort can be used as long as it is under the 600 credits. If not all 600 credits are used, the remaining credits are returned to BillionGraves. Winner must cover their own travel expenses including airfare, food(if not included in the resort already), and any other expense associated with the trip. Locations are subject to room availability and holiday/festival/high traffic constraints.
BillionGraves and The Federation of Genealogical Societies partner to image War of 1812 Participants
BillionGraves and The Federation of Genealogical Societies partner to image all cemetery markers for War of 1812 Participants
The Federation of Genealogical Societies also launches a major fundraising campaign for the Preserve the Pensions Project to honor the memory of these veterans in the month of July
-Effort will include national War of 1812 cemeteries
-Includes persons with individual markers in local and private cemeteries
-July is a great month to remember the participants of the
-“Second Revolution” as well as the American Revolution
-The Federation seeks to raise an average of $1,812 each day of July!
AUSTIN, TX – 1 JULY 2014 The Federation of Genealogical Societies and cemetery website BillionGraves announced today a joint project to image all of the gravestone markers for participants of the War of 1812. “The images from these markers, coupled with the Federation’s current project to raise the funds to digitize the 7.2 million images of the pensions for those who participated in the War of 1812 are a natural fit,” said D. Joshua Taylor, President of FGS.
Hudson Gunn, President of BillionGraves said, “This July our focus is to see that the nation’s military headstones are documented and preserved for future generations. Headstones from early American history are quickly deteriorating, making it only a matter of time before they are lost forever. We are very pleased to have the Federation lend its help to spread this message for the War of 1812 veterans.” It is estimated that as many as 350,000 men may have served in the war. Although it is impossible to know how many may have cemetery markers, there could be as many as 50,000-80,000 markers for these veterans.
BillionGraves and The Federation of Genealogical Societies are asking anyone with knowledge of a cemetery marker for a War of 1812 veteran to upload the image of the marker to the BillionGraves website (www.billiongraves.com) using their free mobile application during the month of July to honor and remember the service of those who served in the “Second Revolution.”
If you upload an image for a War of 1812 veteran during the month of July or anytime thereafter, please let us know on Facebook or Twitter by using the hashtag #1812today and/or #warof1812 and/or #billiongraves. The Federation will also be posting the progress toward the fundraising goal of $1,812 per day on Facebook and Twitter, so check often and pass the word!
The efforts from these two organizations will provide a very valuable asset for researchers and historians researching 1812 veterans. With the Federation raising awareness of the project to digitize the War of 1812 pension records during the month of July and BillionGraves making the cemetery markers of War of 1812 veterans immediately searchable, it should be an exciting month for all genealogists and historians – everyone wins!
Those interested in preserving this valuable piece of America’s documented history can make a single contribution or become a monthly contributor of the Preserve the Pensions project. For more information, go to http://www.preservethepensions.org/ .
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hudson Gunn, President
Preserve the Pensions Inquiries
David E. Rencher, Preserve the Pensions Project Coordinator
FGS Media Inquiries
FGS Marketing & Publicity
Phone: (888) 347-1500Read More
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