A headstone image becomes a record after it is approved through the rating process. Green and red flags are a way to rate images. Here is what they are for and how to use them. 

BillionGraves Website:

Step #1 Login to BillionGraves.com

Step #2 Hover over Volunteer in the main menu.

Step #3 A dropdown menu will appear. Click on Transcribe. A headstone image will appear.

Rate an Image:

Step #1 To rate the image, click the green flag icon in the upper right-hand corner.

Step #2 A dropdown menu will appear. Select the appropriate option. 

Step #3 Once a selection is made, the flag color will change from green to red. 

BillionGraves Website

Steps #2 & #3

Rate an Image 

Step #1 Choose Report Photo Quality

Step #2   Select the appropriate option from the dropdown menu. You may need to scroll                      to choose the appropriate category.


Examples of Image Quality

The photo is blurry and unreadable

Photos are often blurred when the photographer moves too soon after tapping the camera button or when their thumb gets in the way of the app’s camera lens. 

The "Photo is Blurred" option should only be used if the photo is so blurry you are unable to read what is written on the headstone or determine if it is a headstone at all. If the gravestone is a little blurry but still legible, please transcribe it, since this will give volunteers an incentive to replace it with a better photo. 

The headstone is worn and unreadable

Some headstones cannot be read due to weathering or damage even if the photo itself is great. Select the "Headstone is Unreadable" option when the photo is of good quality, but the headstone is no longer readable. The photo will then go into the photographer's Reported Images file.  

This is a photo of the cemetery gate, sign, or property (not a gravestone).

The only photos in the transcription queue should be of individual headstones. So if you come across an image that shows the cemetery gate, an entrance sign, or the cemetery property, select the "This is a photo of the cemetery gate, sign, or property (not a gravestone)." option. This will move the photo from the transcription queue to the general images of that cemetery. 

Use the flag option “Cemetery gate or Property” for photos that are not of individual gravestones like this one of the cemetery landscape. 

The objects in this photo do not contain any transcribable information. (car, person, grass, etc.)

Many cemetery managers install plat markers to designate locations at the cemetery. These can easily be mistaken for headstones, so sometimes volunteers take photos of them. If you see photos of plat markers in the transcription queue, select the option "Not a Headstone". This will move the image from the transcription queue to the photographer's Reported Images file. You could also send the URL of the plat marker photos to support@billiongraves.com to request removal. 

No names, dates, or other information to transcribe are visible in this photo. 

Flag images with no name or dates on them with the option "No Information to Transcribe".

This headstone is not in frame, and there is no information to transcribe.


From time to time, a photographer may make the mistake of photographing the middle of a grave or the side of a grave without the full photo. Sometimes the photo will be between graves.  

This photo contains inappropriate items. 

Over the years, volunteers have submitted all kinds of inappropriate images - such as photos of credit cards, babies, or dogs. If you come across a photo in the transcription queue that is something other than a headstone, select the option "This photo contains inappropriate items". This will move the image from the transcription queue to the photographer's Reported Images file. If it is wildly inappropriate, such as men dressed up as pirates having a brewsky by a headstone (yes, we've seen that one too), please send the URL to support@billiongraves.com for immediate removal.


If you are unsure how to rate an image, select the "Other" option. This will move the image from the transcription queue to the photographer's Reported Images file. You could also send the URL to support@billiongraves.com to request removal.


Change the Image Rating

Sometimes well-meaning transcribers red flag images with a poor rating when they shouldn't. If there are photos in your own Reported Images file that have been flagged incorrectly, you can change the rating. 

The photo is good (readable or partially readable).

This will only appear if the photo has been red-flagged. Click on the red flag and choose the photo is good.  This will change the flag from red to green. 

If the image is clear, select "the photo is good". 

Although this gravestone is harder to read, it is still a good photo. If this had been red-flagged it should be changed to green. 

Step #1 Click on the image that needs to be reclassified. This will open it in the transcription queue.

Step #2 Click thered flag icon at the top of the transcription page.

Step #3 Select the appropriate rating. If you select the "Photo is Good" option, the image will be removed from your Reported Images file. The flag will also change color from red to green



To learn how to transcribe, click HERE 

For the First Pass Transcription Guide, click HERE.