Sunday, March 18, 2012

Billion Graves - A Different Graves Website

Earlier I wrote about Find A Grave and how important information can be found on their site. That is if your relative has had someone create a memorial for that ancestor. Click here for that article

I want to introduce you to a different approach, and one that could be meaningful. It is a relative new site called Billion Graves:

The differences are this: Find A Grave will often have a biography in the memorial.

Not so with Billion Graves: Just a photo of the headstone and sometimes the maiden name of the wife.

I like Billion Graves for a couple of reasons. It is a smart phone experience. What you do is go from headstone to headstone taking photographs of each. Your smart phone technology will set the location automatically. This means if the headstone is on their site, your smart phone can take you right to it. (within about 10 feet) Since kids like things like using their smart phone you can get them involved in genealogy this way. Pretty slick. You can photograph a lot of headstones in a short period of time. Don't worry if you are related, that's not the point - it's the service you are providing others.

I also like the fact they are able to upload these photos by having you just upload the camera to their website. It is easy to do. Billion Graves seems to have caught on which along with the fact it's not limited to a particular ancestor makes me believe that they will eventually have a lot more headstones in their collection than will find a grave. 

Their website uses Google mapping for both seeing where to go for a headstone you want but also to visualize what cemeteries or what portion of cemeteries are photographed.

They won't say how many gravestones are on line yet, only less than a million - could be a lot less. However, they seem to be gaining some buzz and do have a lot online. Researching what cemeteries already have work done will show that they are gaining legs in other countries. It doesn't take long to check out an ancestor, so I plan on making it a part of my research.

Once a photo is uploaded, you can do the indexing part or someone else will. You can even do it as a service project. Some who don't have the ability or time to take the photos are transcribing (indexing) what is on the photographs. Apparently photos that are uploaded are indexed within 48 hours most of the time.

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