Thursday, October 23, 2014

BillionGraves Plus Features

I have not explored the Billion Graves website at all over the past few years.  At this time, there are about 11 million gravesite photographs.  I want to look deeper at the site.  Most features on the site are free, but there is a subscription component, called BG Plus, also.

Billion Graves permits volunteer photographers to use the free Billion Graves mobile app for iOS and Android units to take a photograph of a gravesite or gravestone, and the app uploads the photograph, along with the GPS coordinate of the grave, to Billion Graves servers.  Once the photo is on the website, then volunteers can transcribe the photographs.  The transcription information, and the photograph and GPS location, are then available to search on the Billion Graves website and on the FamilySearch website (  FamilySearch updates the collection on a regular basis.

I explored finding cemetery maps and adding gravestone transcriptions in Billion Graves Cemetery Maps and Gravesite Transcriptions (posted 20 October 2014), and the BillionGraves mobile app in Technology Tuesday - Billion Graves Mobile App (posted 21 October 2014).  Yesterday, I wrote 
Searching for Persons and Cemeteries on BillionGraves.

In this post, I'm going to explore the BillionGraves Plus (BG Plus) features - this is a subscription feature for $9.99 per year - see  BG Plus was introduced several weeks ago in BillionGraves Introduces 5 New Amazing Features.  

1)  Here is the top of the Billion Graves home page after I signed in with my credentials:

On the tabs line, there is a tab for "BG Plus."

2)  The BillionGraves Plus screen opened with a list of the five new features (two screens below):

Each feature has a video associated with it to introduce and demonstrate the feature.

The "Virtual Walk-through" and "Map It" features are associated with searches - discussed below.

3)  I clicked on the "Notifications" tab and was able to add notifications for four of my surnames - the screen is below:

Now I receive an email each time a gravesite is added to BillionGraves for any of those surnames and locations.

4)  I searched for Othello Seaver, who is buried in Mitchellville Cemetery in Iowa.  Here is his profile:

5)  In the left-hand column on the screen above, there is an area for "Virtual Walkthrough" where I can "View Others Buried Nearby."  I clicked on that link and saw:

A list of those buried nearby is provided, along with the distance from the target grave to the other person on the list.  If I click on one the names, I can see their birth-death dates, and can see the stickpin location on the map.  I can drag and drop the circle somewhere else on the map and see persons within that circle.

6)  The "Map It" feature is also in the left-hand column of the Othello Seaver profile.  There are options for "In this cemetery," "In this County," "In this state," and "In this country."

I clicked on "In this country" and saw the map of all Seaver entries in the United States.

I can click on a stickpin to see the name entry/entries associated with it, including the cemetery name.

7)  The other two BG Plus features are "Ad Free" and "Priority Support."  While these are helpful, I haven't used them to date.

8)  The Notifications, Virtual Walk-through and Map It features seem to be useful.  I've been receiving occasional notifications this past week.  

I was provided a one-year BG Plus subscription two weeks ago by the company, and promised to do an objective review of the BillionGraves website and BG Plus features.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

MrG said...

Not user friendly! Can't even look at anything you have looked up. You get a pop up wanting your email address and when you give it, no email arrives to proceed further. No way to contact someone about the issue. Frustrating, not user friendly at all.