Thank you for your interest in volunteering to photograph gravestones! In some areas of the world, cemeteries have already been partially photographed with the BillionGraves app. We would love to have your help in finishing the rest of the cemetery.
Take Photos of Gravestones with Your Smartphone!
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.
#1 Download the BillionGraves app to your smartphone from your app store.
#2 Create a free account on the app or at BillionGraves.com.
#3 In the app, click on "take pictures" to begin taking photos in your local cemetery. The GPS
coordinates will automatically be recorded.
#4 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!
#5 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.
#6 Repeat! :)
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.
Find a Cemetery to Document
- Click HERE to go to the volunteer page to find a cemetery to document.
- Click on the cemetery you are interested in. A map will appear.
- The orange dots on the map indicate where GPS-linked photos have already been taken. If there are areas with gravestones that have no pins, then your service is needed to photograph that section of the cemetery.
Partially Documented Cemeteries
#1 Orange dots or pins on the map indicate where GPS-linked photos have been taken.
#2 If there are areas with gravestones that have no orange dots or pins, then your service is needed to photograph that section of the cemetery.
#3 Go up and down the rows, taking pictures of each gravestone until you have completed an entire section or the entire cemetery.
NOTE: If there are a few random orange dots or pins throughout the cemetery, just take photos of the entire rows and sections anyway. Any images that are duplicated will be merged during the transcription process.