08 November 2011

What a response!

As many of you may recall--we posted some encouragement in the form of an email plea for more images. The response on that very day--was overwhelming. We experienced the largest single day of uploads ever recorded. 20% more uploads than our previous biggest day ever and nearly six times the day's previous uploads. Thanks, from all of us who are using the site for research.

However, and almost right on-cue, the day following our new biggest-day-of-image-uploads-ever was followed by an eerily similar (if not identical) uptick in transcriptions. For those who were following, at one point we have more than 4,000 images waiting to be transcribed and within literally hours the number of images awaiting transcription was once-again approaching double digits.

So, what can we learn from this experience?

- Certainly we have the most responsive volunteers both in capturing images and even more impressive--those who are ready and waiting for the opportunity to transcribe. THANKS!

And so, the plea continues to find those who can and will help capture images. If you have children or grand-children, neighbors, friends or business associates--we could use a little help over here.

Consistently I have people that share with me how ludicrous the name of this organization is. A BILLION graves!? they say. How can you be so audacious to make such an outlandish claim? Well, I will tell you:

1- Is that number POSSIBLE? The number of cemeteries (130,000) that we have in our database currently--I estimate represents 70% of the cemeteries in North America and Canada. Some are large and some are small, but if the average cemetery held between 5-6,000 records we easily have a pool of up to 800,000,000 records available to capture. Outside of North America--Latin/South America, Asia, Oceana, and Europe have significantly more cemetery content to offer. Is it possible to achieve one billion records? Clearly.

2- Is it FEASIBLE? The average time it takes to capture 1,000 images is around 3 hours. It would take then, collectively around 3 million volunteer hours to capture the billion images. How can that be accomplished? Well certainly not with one person, or even 100 or 1,000. But if we were to again look and find and recruit around 20,000 volunteers with a smartphone camera (effectively an average of less than 400 volunteers for each state in the US and province in Canada), this task becomes a manageable 150 hours for each volunteer over the next few years. Imagine investing an average of one hour each week; the job gets done in less than 3 years. Granted, it will probably take a little longer--but is it feasible? You bet.

2a- A lot of good people want to add images and indicate that they are without the right smartphone device and assert that there are NOT many folks who have the right device... Did you know that there were more than 100 million smartphones shipped just in the last 3 MONTHS? I certainly think it is feasible to attract a paltry 1 out of every 5,000 people who acquired a smartphone in the past 3 months to volunteer on this great opportunity.

3- Finally, is it REALISTIC? Well, I guess THAT is up to us.

Thanks again for your great work here in building this database of worldwide cemetery content.