This is the time of year when people around the world are focusing their attention toward remembering and honoring their loved ones who have died. Many of us are making preparations to take the family to local cemeteries to visit the graves of beloved family members. This often includes cleaning up family burial plots and placing flowers on the graves of close family members. In addition to these activities, there is one more great activity that families can do that is in keeping with the spirit of this activity. As you visit the gravesites of your ancestors, why not bring your smart phone along and capture images of your loved one’s tombstones. Through the use of a smart phone App from BillionGraves.com, you can now preserve images of and information from these tombstones and make it possible for anyone around the world to see your ancestor’s gravesite through GPS navigation.
BillionGraves is a website that is dedicated to photographing and transcribing information from gravestones in cemeteries around the world. It has created a free downloadable App which enables anyone with an Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphone to use their phone to capture images of gravestones and upload those images to the BillionGraves website via the internet. These images are then transcribed by those who took the images or by others who want to help build this valuable database. This information is used to provide an extensive family history database for grave stone images from the world’s cemeteries. Soon, you will be able to view and search the index for free at FamilySearch.org.
Through the use of GPS coordinates and satellite technology, BillionGraves makes it possible to locate any gravestone that has been photographed and indexed. With an Apple iPhone or Android smartphone in hand, finding a person’s gravestone is a breeze.
So how do you get started? Simply follow the steps below:
Go to BillionGraves.com and find the cemetery you want to visit.
- Using this site, see if your loved one’s tombstone has been photographed and indexed. If it hasn’t, go to Step 3.
- From the BillionGraves website, download the free App that will allow you to start capturing images.
- Using your iPhone or smartphone, take a picture of your ancestor’s tombstone. While you’re at it, it’s easy to capture a whole row or two of tombstones. In 10 minutes you can capture 20 to 30 tombstone images. Doing this will make it easier for others to find the graves of their ancestors.
- Using instructions from the BillionGraves website, upload the images to the website.
- When you get home, you can quickly go to the BillionGraves site and extract the information from the tombstone images, or you can leave it for someone else to extract.
All extracted information will be searchable through the BillionGraves’ website database, and will soon be accessible at FamilySearch.org. .
That’s all there is to making sure that the images and identifying information of your ancestor’s gravesite is preserved and made available for others to find. Other family members who might be interested in visiting your ancestors can simply get the GPS coordinates from the BillionGraves.com website or from FamilySearch.org and quickly and easily find where the gravesite is located. No more lost gravesites. What better way to honor those who have died than to help bring their gravesite back to the remembrance of the living.
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