Riverside California Service Project A Billion Graves
During May, we celebrate Memorial Day in honor of our veterans. One of the ways that we can honor those who have gone before is by remembering them and documenting their lives. That is why we are teaming up to service Riverside California with this service project from A Billion Graves for our May project.
BillionGraves’ goal is to preserve cemetery data and make it readily available for genealogical research to honor our ancestors and loved ones. Then, even if a loved one’s gravestone is damaged or worn by time, the invaluable information recorded at their final resting place will still be available.
BillionGraves is the world’s largest GPS-linked cemetery data resource. As you take photos with the BillionGraves app, each gravestone is automatically marked with a GPS location. The data is then made readily available at BillionGraves.com for free for millions of families around the globe for generations to come.
This service project is a good one for the whole family. All you need is a cell phone with internet, GPS, and a camera. We will be keeping track of how many graves we do this month, so please email us and let us know how many graves you were able to document and send any pictures you are okay with us posting to our social media and blog.
Our goal: document 10,000 graves by Memorial Day
How to participate in Riverside’s Service Project A Billion Graves:
- Download the BillionGraves app or BillionGraves.com and create a free account
- Go to Riverside’s National Cemetary: 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92518
- When at the cemetery, open the app and click on “take pictures” to begin taking photos in your local cemetery. The GPS coordinates will automatically be recorded.
- Go up and down the rows, taking pictures of each gravestone until you have completed an entire section or the entire cemetery. Keep moving at a quick pace. If you take 1 photo every 15 seconds you will have taken almost 250 photos in an hour!
- When you are finished, connect to Wi-Fi and tap on the “X” in the corner of your screen. When the orange button that says “upload” appears, tap on it to submit your gravestone photos.
- Take a picture and post it on social media and tag us @comeuntochristriverside or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have uploaded the pictures, you will have the option to transcribe the headstones. After you tap the orange upload button a pop-up will appear that says, “Would you like to transcribe your own images?” You can select “yes” or “no”. If you select “yes,” you will have 14 days to transcribe the names and dates from your own images using the BillionGraves website before they are released to the public queue. If you select “no,” then other volunteers will transcribe the data from your photos. If you really want to transcribe your own records, go ahead and do it, but if you have the option, they would rather have you take more photos. They already have many transcribers just waiting for new pictures.
You do not need to contact the National Cemetary and let them know you are coming. You can show up whenever you are ready.
Tips on taking the pictures:
Stand to the side to avoid casting a shadow.
Remove weeds, grass, or other debris that may block gravestone information.
Be sure the names and dates are inside the photo frame.
Linking Photos with the BillionGraves App
If a gravestone has data on more than one side (for example, parents on one side and children on the other side) there is a way to link them together. Just click on the chain icon in the corner of your screen between each photo that you would like to link (front side, chain icon, backside).
You can use this linking feature for obelisks that have data on four sides. You can also use it to link a large gravestone with a family surname on it to nearby smaller gravestones with the family member’s first names on them.
Want more training? Click here and visit the Billion Graves website
We are so excited to be able to honor our veterans in this way! This service project is a great way to get your whole family and your neighbors and friends involved in serving our community.