It’s back! The second annual “Million More in May” competition is here! Start getting excited for some friendly competition and taking pictures in the warmer weather! Here’s how it works:
The goal is to add a million more images to BillionGraves during the month of May. If only 500 of our users upload 2,000 images this month we can easily reach this! That’s only 65 images per day (only 500 images per week)!
With only 500 of our thousands of contributors taking 1-2 trips to their local cemetery each week, we could reach this awesome goal!
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.
However, we are also giving away BillionGraves T-shirts to the Top 30 uploaders this month. Keep an eye on the leaderboard* to see if you are on track to win one of our coveted T-shirts at the end of the month!
But there’s more! For those that always go the extra mile and end up in the Top 3 uploaders, we are throwing in a $20 Subway gift card as well!
*Note: The leaderboard is updated daily and is not measured in real-time.
Some tips for you:
- Make sure that you have the latest BillionGraves app. We are working constantly to remove any obstacles that we find! Check the iTunes App Store or Google Play for any updates for your device.
- 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.
- 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.
Set your personal goal:
We need YOU! What can YOU contribute to Million More in May? We challenge you to set a goal for the month for how many you will contribute per day/week.
Comment below and let us know what you plan on doing!
Who knows? You might just be the next superhero for someone looking for these records.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
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.
Winners will be announced at the end of the month on the BillionGraves blog.
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.
Awards will ship within 30 days at the end of the promotion.
Recipients may be required to provide a mailing address for physical items. T-Shirt winners will be required to provide their requested size.
All images must be uploaded no later than midnight GMT on May 31
Since the BillionGraves Index is now available on FamilySearch.org, a large group from FamilySearch employees decided to learn more about what BillionGraves is all about. So they headed to the Murray Cemetery in Utah to give the app a try.
Some people took pictures, and some people contributed by cleaning off headstones ahead of the picture-takers. This job is an important one: taking pictures goes much more quickly if the headstones are ready with all the information visible.
Dan Shellman, one of the participants, shared a bit about the great experience he had. “The activity that we held in which we took pictures of grave stones to be uploaded to BillionGraves was a great one. As I was taking pictures, it was humbling to see the names of families and wonder at the lives they must have lead. It felt great to know that the information about these families could be used to help others better understand their family history.”
120 different contributors—88 of them first time picture-takers—participated, and about 12,000 new images were added to the Murray Cemetery in one day.
The group even started transcribing the images together after the event.
BillionGraves gained a lot of momentum in May, and we are thrilled with the growth we’re experiencing. Let’s keep up the momentum and celebrate!
For the month of June, the Leaderboard will show which region around the world is gathering the most new uploads. Regions are broken down into US states, Canadian provinces, and countries. Check up on your state, province, or country regularly this month to make sure it is doing its part. You should also check up on regions you want to collect research from—are people contributing in that part of the world?
When you look at the Leaderboard this month, you’ll see a beautiful map of both the United States and the whole world. The more green a region is, the higher its ranking.
Below the map is a breakdown of the top 25 regions for the month. You’ll see a number to the right of the region showing the number of uploads in the last 5 days. With this number, you can tell if your region is still working hard to maintain its spot on the Leaderboard!
At the time I wrote this post, Pennsylvania was in the lead, with Utah and Georgia close behind. And two countries made the list—The Netherlands and the UK!
Don’t worry, the regular user-based Leaderboard can be found just below the region-based one, so you can still track your own progress against other BillionGravers.
Are you in a State (or province, or country) of Growth this month?
Congratulations! We had a monumental month at BillionGraves, and it’s all thanks to you. At BillionGraves, we’re all about bigger and better goals. Even our name is an audacious goal: One Billion Graves. Some people think it’s an impossible number, but there are truly a billion headstones out there, waiting to be documented and mapped.
Our Million in May goal was one of those bigger and better goals we like to set. During May 2012, our database received hundreds of thousands of new records. We had 2,825 new users sign up with BillionGraves. Over 500 users uploaded their first picture this month. Because of all this new participation, our database will be sure to grow more quickly moving forward. We saw new cemeteries being photographed all over the world, and we added 662 new cemeteries to the database. Previously, the month with the highest number of new records was April 2012. May was 3 times more successful than that! We did in one month what we did in our first 7 months last year. Our average daily upload has increased by 300%. Wow! The amount of growth has been huge, and again, we thank all of our volunteers for your hard work!
What’s Next? BillionGraves: In a State of Growth
We love the energy and enthusiasm you BillionGravers have shown, so let’s all keep going through June! June is going to be all about the progress of states, provinces, and countries around the world. The Leaderboard will show which US state, Canadian province, or country is producing the most new data! You’ll be able to see how well your state, province, or country is doing, and you’ll also be able to check on the progress of the states, provinces, and countries you want to research! We’re excited about the growth we’ve already experienced, and we are confident that June will be another epic month.
Congratulations to those who made the Leaderboard in May! Check out the results below. If you’re a winner, we will be contacting you via email soon to get you your prizes!
We’re halfway through the month! Right now, we have over 100,000 images that need to be transcribed. Because many headstones have multiple individuals’ records on them, those 100,000 images could translate to 150,000 or 200,000 new records for our database. Transcribing these records will bring us so much closer to our goal!
Thanks for all the transcriptions you’ve done so far. For all you super-transcribers, check out our transcribing shortcuts to help you get through even more records faster.
Many people are interested in completing transcriptions for the photos they upload—did you know you can do that? Here’s how:
From your dashboard on BillionGraves.com, click on Images Uploaded. Click on one of the albums containing your photos (these are usually grouped by date). Then click on a photo you want to transcribe. Clicking next at the top of the page will take you to the next image in that album, so you can easily continue to transcribe all of the photos in your album. For a more detailed description, read our blog post on the subject.
What if a headstone was transcribed incorrectly? That’s OK. You can edit transcriptions and make improvements to them. From any headstone’s Record View, there is a blue button that says Edit on the right next to the name on the record. If you click Edit, you can make any changes you’d like to the record.
We are so grateful for everyone’s volunteer efforts here at BillionGraves. Keep up the good work! Just under two weeks left to reach our goal of 1,000,000 new records!