If you’ve ever taken pictures in a cemetery that is within a few blocks of a neighboring cemetery, you might have found that sometimes the images will end up in the wrong cemetery. This is especially common if you’re taking pictures along the edge of the cemetery.
For example, when you are in a cemetery, (see Cemetery 1 below) taking pictures, the BillionGraves app will automatically search for the nearest cemetery based on the cemetery marker (i.e. the star in example below). So even though you might be in Cemetery 1, the app might think you’re in Cemetery 2 because that cemetery marker is closer.
As you can see, this can be problematic if the images keep getting categorized in the wrong cemetery, so we developed a system called “Cemetery Boundaries” to fix it. When two cemeteries are very close together, we draw boundaries around each cemetery.
This new feature is still in the beta testing phase, but we need your help to test it out! Send us any cemeteries that are in need of having specified boundaries (i.e. two cemeteries that are close together) and we would love to set them up on BillionGraves. All you have to do is show us where the boundaries are and we can set them up for you. Here’s how:
Step 1: Look up the cemetery in Google maps. Go to https://maps.google.com/ and type in either the address or the name of the cemetery in the search bar in the top left corner. Then verify it’s the right location based on the map you see.
Note: If you have the Google Earth software, you can use it in lieu of Google Maps. You can also take a screen shot of the cemetery on BillionGraves.
Step 3: Paste the screen shot into Paint. Open up the Paint program (if you’re using a Mac, try PaintBrush) and right click. Click “Paste” and you should be able to see your screen shot in the Paint window.
Step 4: Use the paintbrush to draw a line around the cemetery boundary. Choose a color that will be easily recognizable.
Step 5: Draw any additional cemetery boundaries.
Step 6: Save the image and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. From here, we will program the boundaries you specified into our systems. Then the next time you are in that cemetery, your BillionGraves app will correctly recognize and categorize your images into the right cemetery!
If you have any difficulty with this process or have any questions, please email email@example.com and we would love to help you!
If you’ve transcribed any images yesterday or today, you’ve probably noticed the new feature on our transcription page!
You can use this exciting new feature whenever you come across a headstone with some sort of military information on it. We made this feature as easy as possible for the transcriber in an effort to make the process as simple and seamless. Here’s how it works:
1. When you come across a military headstone, transcribe all the regular information as usual. After you’ve entered in the name, birth and death dates, etc., click on the “+ add military specific info” link.
2. Type in all military-related information EXACTLY HOW IT’S WRITTEN on the headstone. Do not lengthen any abbreviations or abbreviate any words. We have obtained a list of common titles and their abbreviations from the VA and have designed an auto-populate system that will take care of all the categorizing for you! (Read on to see how it works)
3. Click on the “+ Faith Emblem” link and choose which emblem is on the headstone. You can usually find these emblems at the top of the headstone, but sometimes they are found elsewhere as well (i.e. in between the birth and death dates).
5. Our site will work behind the scenes to auto populate the military fields found on the headstone that you will see on the individual record page. That being said, there are hundreds of thousands of abbreviations out there, some that are not even on the VA’s extensive list of official abbreviations. If you see an abbreviation that does not register with our system (i.e. this record) feel free to contact us and we would love to add it so our system will recognize it and publish it on the page.
Note: Even if the abbreviation doesn’t register with the form on the record page, it will still be saved with that particular image.
So go try out our new transcription tool and let us know what you think! If you have any suggestions on how to make this feature better, comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear your feedback!
If you’ve taken pictures before with the BillionGraves application only to realize that you forgot to link two images together, don’t worry! You can fix it!
First of all make sure you are linking images that need to be linked together. If you aren’t sure which images should be linked, find out here. Note: the images you see below shouldn’t really be linked, we only linked them for demonstration purposes.
Here’s how to link images together you missed after taking the picture. (For more information on linking images while taking pictures in a cemetery read more here.)
1. Make sure you are logged in to the BillionGraves website. Make sure you have also uploaded all your pictures from the app as well.
2. Click “My Photos” under the “Photos” tab. Note: you will only be able to link any pictures that you have taken (and that are listed on your account). If you come across any images that need to be linked but you did not take them, you can email email@example.com and we can fix those for you.
6. Click “Link Images.” You will then see the linked images below in the “linker history” section.
How to add a cemetery to BillionGraves from the website:
1. Make sure someone has not already added the cemetery to the database. You can do this by searching for that cemetery (using location in the search will be very helpful) on the search page. This will ensure there are no duplicate cemeteries.
2. Click on the “Tools” tab and click “Add Cemetery.”
5. Verify the cemetery location on a map. From here, you will be able to drag around the pin to place it right where the cemetery is on the map.
How to add a cemetery from your phone:
1. Tap on the “Cemeteries” button. Make sure you have logged into your account through the app already (you should only need to do this once).
3. Fill in the information for the cemetery and tap “Save.” Again, you can either add the location by street address, or just tap the “Use My Location” button if you are currently standing in the cemetery.
How to Edit a Cemetery:
1. Click on the blue “Edit” link underneath the address on the cemetery page. This will pop up a window you can edit the cemetery information in.
Keep in mind that whatever cemetery you add or edit will always be submitted to the BillionGraves team for further review and to ensure accuracy.
We are often contacted by people who have found errors on individual records on our site and are asked how they can be edited. This is actually a very simple process once you know where to go.
Keep in mind, all of our records are transcribed by volunteers, so occasionally there could be a typo or an error made. That’s why BillionGraves gives registered users the ability to fix any mistakes or typos on record pages.
Here are the 5 steps to editing a BillionGraves record.
1. Make sure you have registered for a BillionGraves account and are logged in.
2. Navigate to the individual records page you want to edit and click on the “edit” button.
3. Change any incorrect information.
This pop-up window will appear where you can change or add any information to any of the following fields.
In this case, I want to delete this comma that shouldn’t be there, so I’ll just hit backspace once my cursor’s in that box.
4. Hit save.
You’ll find this button in the bottom right corner of the editing window.
Once you do this, you will see the changes reflected on the individual’s record page. It is now saved to the database!
Please keep in mind that the information you transcribe should be the information on the headstone even if the headstone is incorrect. If you know for a fact that the headstone has the wrong information on it, please don’t change the information that is transcribed on the headstone. You can make note of the discrepancy under the “personal history” section on the record.
And that’s all there is to it! If you have any further questions, comment below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.