1. To get to the sign up page, flip through the initial tutorial by swiping your finger across the screen.
2. If you already have a BillionGraves.com account, tap Login on the sign up page. Tap the Email field and type in your BillionGraves.com email address. Then tap the password field and type in your password. Tap the Login button and you’ll be logged in to the app.
3. If you don’t have a BillionGraves.com account yet, tap Sign Up on the sign up page. Tap the Username field and enter a username. Then tap the Email field and type in your email address; then tap the password field and type in a password you will remember. Afterwards you’ll need to type the password again in the last field so we can make sure what we have on file matches the password you want to create. Then tap Register in the top right corner of the screen.
4. Once you’re signed in, you’ll see the dashboard. From the dashboard you can see how many cemeteries you’ve visited and how many headstones you’ve uploaded to the database.
5. If you ever need to return to your dashboard, tap the Dashboard button on the bottom of the screen (it’s the second from the right).
1. Along the bottom of your dashboard screen there are five buttons: Camera, Photos, Cemeteries, Dashboard, and Settings. To start taking pictures, tap the Camera button (the first button on the left).
2. The camera will open. Hold your phone so the headstone and all its important information appears on the screen.
3. Tap the camera shutter icon the picture (if you’re holding your phone horizontally, the camera icon will appear in the upper right corner of the screen).
4. Once the picture has been taken, you can move on to the next headstone. (If in your app settings the option for Preview after Capture is set to On, you’ll need to review the photos you collect before moving on.)
5. To exit the camera screen, tap the arrow button in the bottom right corner of the screen (if you’re holding your phone horizontally).
When you’re taking headstone photos, the most important thing is to capture the information clearly. Here are a few tips to make photos easier to transcribe and use:
1. Avoid your shadow falling on any part of the headstone. (This may mean you need to take the photo upside down, depending on where the sun is. Don’t worry—you can flip the photo right side up inside the app or on BillionGraves.com.)
2. Make sure nothing is covering the headstone information (names, dates, etc.). Sometimes grass clippings, fallen leaves, or dirt can obscure the headstone. Brush it off before taking a picture.
3. Include all of the important information in the photo. You may not be able to read the words on the iPhone, but on the website, with a larger screen, it will work wonderfully.
4. Avoid the sun in if you can. You get the best quality photos at dawn and dusk, or when it’s overcast. You can’t always control the weather, or your schedule, but if you have a choice, try to avoid the brighter parts of the day.
Photo GPS Tagging
When you’re collecting headstone images, there is a description of how accurate the GPS-location tagging on the images will be in the lower left corner of the screen. There is also a word describing the tagging accuracy that appears next to the icon. The accuracy will be Great, Very Good, Good, Medium, Bad, or Very Bad. The app will only take photos if it has a signal strength of Good or better.
The BillionGraves Camera is constantly updating the GPS information so you can always capture the most accurate information possible about the graves you’re visiting. This is great in terms of the information, but it takes some planning in regards to your phone’s battery. The constant updating requires a lot of battery power, and combined with the fact that sometimes it’s hard to see your screen outdoors unless you turn the brightness up, using the BillionGraves Camera can drain your battery much faster than usual. If you’re out traveling, be sure to bring a portable charger to make sure you can collect as many photos as possible and still be able to use your phone for other things. Plan ahead and it shouldn’t be a problem.
Linking Photos of the Same Headstone
Sometimes you need to take more than one photo of a headstone to collect all the information on it. Some examples of this are standing slab headstones that have information on the back, four-sided obelisks, and headstone groups in which one large stone has the family name inscribed on it and a series of smaller stones bear the given names of individuals.
1. To link two images together, take the first photo.
2. Tap the linking icon (the two chains in the bottom left corner of the photo-taking screen).
3. Take the second photo.
After you take the second photo, the linking will turn off. If you need to link more than two photos, just tap the linking icon again after the second photo and so on until you’ve photographed the entire headstone.
1. To view the photos you’ve collected, tap the Photos button from your dashboard (or any screen other than the camera view). It’s the second button from the left.
2. A list showing the cemeteries you’ve collected photos from will appear. Tap on a cemetery to view the photos you collected there.
3. A thumbnail collage of the photos you’ve collected in that cemetery will appear. If they’ve already been uploaded to BillionGraves.com, they will have an Uploaded tag on them.
4. If you tap on an image in any of these views (list, thumbnail, or map), you’ll see a larger version of that image and you’ll have some options for what to do with it. From this view you can swipe your finger right and left across the screen to view different photos. The arrow icon in the top right corner of the screen will rotate the image 90 degrees clockwise.
5. To stop viewing photos, tap the icon with the cemetery’s name in it that is in the top left corner of the screen.
Once you’ve collected images and viewed them to make sure they’re rotated properly, it’s time to upload them. You can upload images individually, in batches, or all at once. (If the Auto Upload setting is on (see “Change Your Settings” below), once you’ve reviewed an image it will upload automatically.
1. To upload an individual photos or small batches of photos, follow the instructions for viewing an image until you are viewing one cemetery’s collection of photos. Then tap the Actions button (the box-and-arrow icon in the upper right corner of the screen). Tap the photo you want to upload to select it (the photo will gray out and have a checkmark on it when it’s selected). When you’ve selected all the photos you want to upload, tap Upload (in the lower left corner of the screen).
2. If you would like to upload an entire cemetery worth of images, follow the instruction for viewing an image until you are viewing one cemetery’s collection of photos. Then tap the Actions button (the box-and-arrow icon in the upper right corner of the screen). Then tap Select All (in the lower right corner of the screen). Then tap Upload (in the lower left corner of the screen).
3. If you would like to upload all your collected images from all the cemeteries you have visited, tap Photos so you can see a list of all your cemeteries. Then tap the Actions button (the box-and-arrow icon in the upper right corner of the screen). Confirm that you want to upload all your images by tapping Upload All.
After you’ve uploaded your photos you’ll want to delete them off your phone to save memory space so you can collect more. You can delete all the photos in BillionGraves at once, you can delete them individually, or you can delete them by cemetery.
1. To delete all your photos at once, tap the Photos button (the second from the left) at the bottom of the screen from your dashboard. Then tap the Actions button (the box-and-arrow icon) in the top right corner of the screen. Select Remove All , then confirm your choice by tapping Yes .
2. To delete photos individually or by cemetery, open up a cemetery’s photo collection. Tap the Actions button (the box-and-arrow icon) in the top right corner of the screen. Tap the photos you want to delete (if you want to delete all the photos in the cemetery, tap Select All in the lower right corner of the screen). Then tap Remove (the red button at the bottom of the screen). Confirm your choice by tapping Yes .
Finding a Cemetery
You can view nearby cemeteries, search for a cemetery, or add a cemetery that isn’t in our database from the Cemeteries view.
1. To see the Cemeteries view, tap the Cemeteries button (the third from the left) at the bottom of the screen from your dashboard.
2. A list of the 20–50 cemeteries nearest to you will appear under the Nearby heading. If you want to view a map of all the images in a cemetery, tap its name. A map appears, and all the pins on it represent a headstone image.
3. To search for a particular cemetery, tap the Search bar at the top of the page. Type in the cemetery name and tap the Search button. A list of cemeteries matching your search will appear.
4. If you cannot find the cemetery you’re going to visit, please visit the cemetery and add it to our database.
Adding a Cemetery
1. To add a cemetery, go into Cemeteries view. Tap New Cemetery.
2. Type the cemetery name into the Name field. Add in any extra information you know about the cemetery. (If you are in the cemetery, you won’t need to put in the street address; the app will record your current location as the cemetery’s location when you save.) You can add a description of your cemetery if you feel more information is necessary—for example, maybe several cemeteries are right next to each other.
3. If you are not in the cemetery when you try to add it, tapNo next to Are you in the cemetery? You’ll need to add the cemetery’s address to add it to the database.
4. After you’ve included all the necessary information, tap Save (in the upper right corner of the screen). After you save, your cemetery will be added to the database.
Viewing a Cemetery’s Map
1.To view a cemetery with all the photos in it mapped out as pin markers, first find the cemetery you want and tap its name.
2. A map view will appear. If it is zoomed too far out to actually see the cemetery, place two fingers on the part of the screen you want to zoom in on, and then drag those two fingers apart from one another across the screen. Keep zooming in until you’re as close as you want to be (or until Google can’t zoom in any closer).
3. If you’re zoomed in enough to see the cemetery, but not close enough that the pins can differentiate themselves from one another, blue circles will represent a group of photos, and the number of photos in the group will display on the blue circle.
Change Your Settings
You can change the default BillionGraves Camera app settings by tapping on the Settings button on the bottom of your dashboard screen (it’s the button furthest to the right).
1. Auto Upload: If auto upload is on, images are uploaded to BillionGraves.com immediately after you capture them. To turn it on, tap the button that says Off . This will toggle the option to On .
2. Preview after Capture: If Preview after Capture is on, after you capture an image you’ll see a preview of the image and have a few options: Retake (for pictures that are blurry or otherwise poor), Use (for good images), and Don’t Ask Again (which tells the app to use the images you take without asking for permission). To turn this option on, tap the button that says Off . This will toggle the option to On.
3. Delete after Upload: If Delete after Upload is on, your images are removed from you phone after they successfully upload to the BillionGraves.com database. This can save memory space, which frees up space to take more pictures. By default it is off: to turn it on, tap the button that says Off . This will toggle the option to On.
4. Auto Focus: If Auto Focus is on, your phone will automatically focus the camera for you. By default it is off: to turn it on, tap the button that says Off. This will toggle the option to On.
5. Choose a secondary camera button: If you don’t like tapping the shutter icon on the screen to take photos, you can choose a secondary camera button. Tap Choose a secondary camera button , then press the button on your phone you would like to be your photo-taking trigger.
6. Version: This is not a setting you can change, but it tells you which version of the app you are currently using.
7. Email Us: If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, feel free to email our support team. Tap the Email Us option in your app settings. A draft email will appear that inputs our email address and a helpful subject. Tap the body of the email to type your comment. When you’re finished, tap Send (in the upper right corner of the screen).