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!
This month, our wonderful photographers and transcribers will be dueling it out! We are going to see which group will take more pictures or transcribe more records respectively. You get to decide which team to help; so which side will you choose?
Here’s how it works:
On the leaderboard this month, you’ll find a counter that will tell you where each side (photographers or trancribers) stands. EVERY PERSON who takes a picture or transcribes one will get to contribute to whichever side they want. So it’s up to you—which side do you want to help win? Can’t decide? You could help both!
You could win!
EVERYONE who makes it on the leaderboard this month will win a prize! The top 50 contributors of the winning side (photographers or transcribers) will get a BillionGraves stressball—perfect for working out those sore fingers from transcribing or taking pictures!
But we are also offering a second-place prize too! The other side’s top 50 contributors will still get an official BillionGraves vinyl sticker! They’re perfect to for decorating your smartphone, tablet or even the bumper of your car!
So keep an eye on the leaderboard this month to make sure you’re in one of the top 50 lists and to see how your team is measuring up!
-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.
-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.
-Recipients will be required to provide a mailing address for physical items.
-All images must be uploaded and/or transcribed no later than midnight (GMT) on September 30.
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!