Saturday, February 8, 2014

Supporting Records feature announced by BillionGraves

This month BillionGraves announced a new feature that will allow graves to be recorded at BillionGraves without a smart phone.

According to blog post by BillionGraves users can now upload supporting documents, and photos of gravestones that have not been taken with a smart phone.  The focus of BillionGraves will still be on getting all the photographs possible of all cemeteries in the world, but the changes allow for graves were a GPS coded photo is not possible to be recorded.  For example, we may have a death record which states a burial took place, and also an obituary which states the same burial info.  But, when we visit the cemetery, there may be no stone and we may not even be able to find exactly where the person was buried in the cemetery.  

I was curious if this new feature would allow me to upload some photos I took in 2002 of local cemeteries.  At the time I had intended to upload them to FindaGrave, but I have never had time to transcribe them all, and some are not readable.   They have been sitting on my computer ever since.  Sometimes when I am researching someone and I know they were buried there I look for the stone in my photos but that is another story.  

First I tried selecting all the photos and not selecting a spreadsheet and uploading the photos.  It let me upload the photos but wouldn't let me submit them.  So it seems I will have the same problem, needing to transcribe the photos before I can submit them.  Perhaps I can transcribe only 1 photo and submit the set? I tried that, in an hour I guess I'll see how it turned out.  I really should take the time to transcribe them....and revisit each cemetery with my smart phone of course :) It will be some weeks after the return of cemetery photographing friendly weather before we will be done the entire Victoria Lawn Cemetery with the BillionGraves app.  It is a large cemetery!

This new feature will allow BillionGraves to accept submissions of every FindaGrave contributor who wants to have their photos at both sites.  This could have benefits, as they we can see a GPS coded photo but we may also be able to see a better photo that was taken at a different time linked to it.  I also imagine that since 2014 is the "Year of the obituary" it will allow BillionGraves to add burial records from obituaries which will enhance the value of the stone photos if/when they are eventually taken with a smart phone.

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