The latest version of the iOS App (Version 3.1) is available on the app store. Make sure you check the app store and download it on your device! Besides some minor bug fixes, this new version of the app has two brand-new features!
Transcribing from the app. This feature allows you to transcribe those headstones that are practically impossible to read from a photograph. This way you can look at the stone from all angles and even run your fingers along the indents to ensure that the correct information is transcribed!
Watch this video to find out how to use it (don’t miss the “magic” feature at the end!):
Adding new images to records already on BillionGraves. Have you seen a record on BillionGraves that needs to be updated (for instance, a new date has been added to the headstone or the first image didn’t have all the information on the headstone)? This feature allows you to make those corrections!
See how it works on this short video:
These are just two of the many ways we are improving the BillionGraves mobile app. We hope to get these new features out for the Android app soon. We’ll keep you posted as more improvements become available!
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.
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 had a record-breaking weekend this Memorial Day weekend, and we are so appreciative of everyone’s efforts. Some of you noticed that services were down for a period yesterday—one of our servers was acting up because of the huge amounts of traffic to our site and huge numbers of photo uploads this weekend. The problem was resolved within a few hours. If you had any problems uploading photos or transcribing images, try again today and everything should be working fine.
Are you on the Leaderboard?
You only have a few days left to take action to guarantee your spot on the Leaderboard. Don’t forget that now the top 50 transcribers and the top 50 picture-takers get prizes for being on the Leaderboard at the end of the month. We’ve updated the Leaderboard for the month to show what category you’re in and what prize you will receive if you maintain your spot. The prizes are pretty awesome, including a year’s subscription to BG+, BillionGraves t-shirts, and Record Watches. If you’re not on the Leaderboard yet, check your suggested goal on that page to see what it would take to get there. You may only need a few more photos or transcriptions to be in the top 50!
May is ending on Thursday, and your last chance to get photos uploaded or images transcribed is Thursday, May 31 at 11:59 PM GMT (7:59 PM EDT). That’s just a few days away!
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!