[OpenGLAM] BillionGraves index/images now available through FamilySearch

todd.d.robbins at gmail.com todd.d.robbins at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 21:46:17 UTC 2012


Great question! Burial data could and has been used by many researchers
throughout history, but my interest has been motivated by recent
developments in the US. BillionGraves [1] is a new platform for digitizing
grave data. From their own site:

"We aim to provide an expansive family history database for records and
images from the world’s cemeteries, all tagged with GPS locations. Our
database is growing every day. We are gathering headstones from new
countries all the time. Our goal is to collect one billion graves, and we
can do it with your help."

It's a fabulous idea and the project is executed quite well, but the data
is not openly licensed for reuse, and therefore only so useful. There is a
power in the potential of geocoding every known burial in the world. I
think we can tap into that curiosity and enthusiasm. We can make
interesting applications that literally connect citizens to the past
through physical monuments.

In summary, ownership of this kind of data should be communally held in my
opinion, hence my concern.


On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM, Sarah Stierch <sarah.stierch at gmail.com>wrote:

>  Hi Todd,
> Just curious what you're hoping to use this content for or who you hope to
> partner with?
> From a volunteer stand point it interests me a lot - I photograph
> graveyards and document memorials and "the dead" on Wikipedia, and this
> kind of metadata would be valuable for infoboxes and maybe Wikidata. Thanks
> for sharing the updates,
> Sarah

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