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!
With a day devoted to honoring mothers coming up here in the US, we thought we’d honor some here at BillionGraves. Our database of headstones is a great resource for your personal family history research, but did you know it also provides other interesting data that we can tap into? We did a bit of our own research and found the top 100 epitaphs transcribed in our database. These beautiful epitaphs show devotion to fathers, mothers, brothers, daughters, war heroes, and other loved ones.
As we looked specifically for epitaphs honoring mothers, we found that in the top 100 epitaphs, “Mother” is included in 28 of the entries. Then, we found that the word “Mother” is contained in 16% of all epitaphs in our database. Mothers are revered members of society, and it shows in the headstones you’ve collected for BillionGraves.
Check out this table of the most popular epitaphs about moms:
The number of records flowing into the database this month has been monumental! We are so appreciative of the efforts our volunteers are putting in. Participation this month has grown dramatically—in registrations, image uploads, and transcriptions. Your efforts have provided a giant boost to the BillionGraves database. Thank you!
Because there has been so much participation, we’ve decided that rewarding just the top 25 on the Leaderboard is not enough. Now, if you’re among the TOP 50 picture-takers or transcribers at the end of the month, you’ll earn some great prizes!
If you find yourself on the May Leaderboard as of May 31 at 11:59 PM GMT (7:59 PM EDT) as EITHER a transcriber or photographer, you will receive the following appreciation gifts:
Top 10 picture-takers and transcribers
BG+ account free for one year
$10 Subway gift card
BG+ account free for one year
Choose a BG+ account free for one year OR a BillionGraves t-shirt
Choose 10 Record Watches OR a BillionGraves t-shirt
And finally, spots 41-50
Thanks again for your contributions, and we hope you’re excited about the new prizes! Although, you may have to fight harder to retain your spot on the Leaderboard this month!
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Promotion is open to all to participate for free. Registration is required.
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.
If a winner is on the Leaderboard for both categories (i.e. a leader in picture-taking and transcribing), the winner will be awarded the prize corresponding to the highest ranking on either board. For example, if a user is ranked #35 on the picture-taking Leaderboard and #19 on the transcription Leaderboard, he or she will be awarded the prize for spots 11-20, or a BG+ account for one year and a BillionGraves t-shirt.
April showers bring May flowers, setting a perfect stage for our Million More in May promotion! During the month of May, we want all of our users to go out and take thousands of photos in their local cemeteries. Together with friends and family, we can all try to reach one million new records in one month!
This has been an amazing first year for BillionGraves. The number of records is growing exponentially—let’s work together to keep growing our database. During the month of May, with volunteers around the world contributing, we can add one million new records to BillionGraves.
We can definitely reach this goal: let’s look at the numbers. If two thousand users take 500 pictures each, we’ll be at 1,000,000 new images this month. But won’t it take a long time for one person to take 500 pictures? Nope! A beginning picture taker will be able to document 500 images in 2 hours or less. Two hours! Imagine how many records would be recorded in just two hours each weekend in May. And once we all work together to transcribe these images, we’ll have our 1 Million records in May added to our database, searchable all over the world.
If you are one of the most stellar picture-takers or transcribers during this promotion, you’ll be publicly recognized on our Leaderboard on the BillionGraves website. You’ll be famous at BillionGraves.com, and you’ll motivate others to continue adding new images and transcribing records. At the end of the month, the top 25 photographers and the top 25 transcribers will be rewarded with their choice of a free BillionGraves t-shirt or one year of our BillionGraves Plus Account! [Updated!]
We want to remind you about the value of the BillionGraves database. The information we have gathered and are currently gathering is not available anywhere else. Volunteers are documenting entire cemeteries, providing exact locations for cemeteries and even specific headstones within that cemetery. Then, when you search for your ancestor, you have the ability to see all the headstones in the vicinity—many connections can be discovered by locating relatives buried nearby the one you searched for. We know this information is priceless, and that’s why BillionGraves exists. So, when we all contribute new records, we all benefit from the information collected.
We are holding our Million More in May promotion for several reasons:
- Because the goal of the entire BillionGraves project is to help people throughout the world connect with their ancestors, no matter where they are buried.
- We want more people to learn about and participate in BillionGraves.
- We want to commemorate Memorial Day in the US (May 28) by making more pictures and records accessible to people all over the world.
But don’t wait till Memorial Day to start taking your pictures! Get started early in May so we can be sure we’ll reach our goal by the end of the month. In addition, headstones will be adorned with beautiful arrangements and decorations for Memorial Day—not ideal picture-taking circumstances.
We’ll be communicating with you registered users regularly via email during the month of May to give you tips, suggestions, and motivation to reach our goal. And in future blog posts, we’ll tell you how to get friends involved, how to create a Facebook event to meet at a cemetery, etc. Keep visiting the blog and checking your email to see how you can help us reach a Million More in May!