[OpenGLAM] BillionGraves index/images now available through FamilySearch

todd.d.robbins at gmail.com todd.d.robbins at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 05:43:35 UTC 2012

Hello all,

I had submitted the message below back in June to the Open GLAM [1] and
Open Humanities [2] (both OKFN lists) and never saw a response, so I
thought I'd revisit the topic. I've been working on various projects lately
having to do with local history and civic data. I typed up a very
preliminary, but potential schema for *Open Gravestones* (a once dreamed
about OKFN project of which I can't seem to find the EtherPad discussion
[James Harriman-Smith, any idea?]). Here's a schema example as a JSON

"name": {
"surname": "Schmidt",
 "given": "John",
"middle": "Jacob Jingleheimer",
"suffix": "[string]",
 "additional": "[string]",
"patronymic": "[string]",
"maternalSurname": "[string]",
 "paternalSurname": "[string]"

"birth": {
 "year": "1808",
"month": "1",
"day": "1",
 "place": "Berlin, Germany"
 "death": {
"year": "1888",
"month": "1",
 "day": "1",
"place": "Berlin, Germany"

"burial": {
"year": "1888",
"month": "3",
 "day": "13",
"place": "Berlin, Germany",
"graveNumber": "[integer]",
 "mortuary": "[string]",
"comment": "[string]",
"block": "[integer]",
 "tract": "[integer]",
"lot": "[integer]",
"space": "[integer]",
 "segment": "[integer]",
"level": "[integer]"
 "headstone": {
"type": "upright",
 "material": "granite",
"color": "grey",
"comment": "long"

I understand the keys and/or values of the example are fairly Western and
at this point don't represent the kind of broad terminology we would
require. I've been sketching up other versions of the data model and
potential applications over the past few months as well. I'd love to get
some movement going on an open source burial grounds data platform as
genealogical data remains very popular and up until now very is dominated
by closed data providers. GEDCOM X [3], FamilySearch's genealogical data
standard project, will likely touch on this topic, but it's not clear when
that will be or what the licenses will be. Anyhow, I hope this email gets a
conversation going.



[1] http://openglam.org/
[2] http://humanities.okfn.org/
[3] http://www.gedcomx.org/

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: todd.d.robbins at gmail.com <todd.d.robbins at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 6:08 PM
Subject: BillionGraves index/images now available through FamilySearch
To: open-glam at lists.okfn.org, open-humanities at lists.okfn.org

So I've been on the sidelines of the discussion about a potential Open
Gravestones project [1] within OKFN and have been following the
BillionGraves [2] project. The index/images are now available through
FamilySearch, though lacking any declaration of openness about the data. [3]

There are nearly one million records so far, and I'm wondering if OKFN and
others (the Open Genealogy Alliance [4], for example) would be interested
in entering talks with FamilySearch and BillionGraves about adopting
Creative Commons or Open Definition licenses for these types of (generally)
public domain documents. Since FamilySearch is the largest genealogical
organization in the world, I figure this could be a worthy project to
invest some thought and time.

I'd love to get Open Gravestones going and I'm curious of your thoughts.

[1] http://humanities.okfn.org/2012/02/17/meeting-2012-02-15/
[2] http://billiongraves.com/
[3] See: https://familysearch.org/node/1714 and
[4] http://www.opengenalliance.org/

Tod Robbins
Digital Collections Librarian, MLIS
todrobbins.com | @todrobbins <http://www.twitter.com/#!/todrobbins>
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