I know that some might consider this suggestion a bit on the morbid side, but here in SA we often sit with families that are widely distributed through the country and there are a lot of movement of families between towns. This leads to people getting buried in one town but there might not any more direct relatives living in that particular town.
Should relatives wish to visit the grave site they first have to locate the exact cemetery and then spend a lot of time wandering through the cemetry looking for the correct grave and some times they end up not finding the grave they wished to visit or due to tombestone theft (yes, that actually happens here in SA) the grave has become unmarked.
I would like to suggest the addition of a grave GPS coordinate field to the form if the person has passed away. This will give family members the opportunity to mark the gravesite and other family members can then quickly locate graves in old cemetries.
With the availability of GPS technology in modern times and everybody having smartphones, this could also be feature for the mobile app, perhaps a "Geo-tagging" function where the coordinates can be taken at the grave site and uploaded to the family tree?
At the moment our family adds the GPS coords of a grave in the Biography section of a profile, but this field could be a valuable addition to the standard form.
Have you checed out the "Billion Graves" project that MH is undertaking? It has instructions on how to record the GPS. Perhaps what is needed is a field with a link to specific grave details that project.
Yeah, OK, they are "supporting" it rather than initiating it. Does it make any difference?
Here's the original e-mail about it:
Cemeteries are among the most valuable resources for family history research. Headstones (gravestones) contain a wealth of information about the deceased, such as dates of birth and death, names of relatives, and surprises such as photographs and emotional epitaphs.
There are hundreds of thousands of cemeteries worldwide, but most of them have never been documented, and the headstone information is not available online. Time is chipping away at the headstones and many become unreadable over the years :-(
Together with our partner, BillionGraves, we have recently launched a global initiative to photograph and transcribe all of the world's cemeteries, and make the data available for free!
This week we kickstarted this initiative by taking the employees of MyHeritage to "practice what we preach" and digitize an entire cemetery ourselves. We photographed more than 50,000 gravestones in a few hours in the largest project of this kind ever done in Israel. Read about our amazing experience and look at many photos documenting our project on our blog. Leading genealogy bloggers agree that this is a wonderful, worthy mission – read the posts of Randy Seaver and James Tanner about it.
We cannot do this important project alone. This is where YOU can make a big difference!
We extend an invitation to you to come join us in this exciting project.
How does it work?
1. BillionGraves is a very easy to use iPhone and Android app. First, click here to sign up to BillionGraves for free in its special MyHeritage welcome page.
2. Download the BillionGraves mobile app from that page.
3. Visit a cemetery near you, and take photos of the headstones using the app. GPS information on each grave is automatically captured.
4. Use the BillionGraves website to help enter the names and information that appear in the headstone photos that you took or other users have taken. All information is made available for free on the BillionGraves website and on MyHeritage SuperSearch. MyHeritage Record Matching technology will match the headstones automatically to your tree and all trees on MyHeritage, for free.
For more information, read our blog post. If you have questions about participating, email them to our team at email@example.com.
As part of the project, I photographed 2000 gravestones myself this month, and I must say it is fascinating and addictive. Join our global initiative too, by clicking here.
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I recently started using the smart match concensus available on the web page (didn't use it before because it took so long to see the page come up, but I now have faster broadband) and it is proving to be very useful - particularly the "ignore person" option for cutting down the 28,000 smart matches to be checked.
I see something happening frequently on the concensus page, for example, I get "Launceston, Cornwall, England, UK", "Launceston, Cornwall, England", "Launceston Cornwall England", "Launceston, Cornwall, ENG ", "Cornwall, England", "Cornwall, UK", "England", and "UK" as possible matches to addresses. Now obviously (to a human) these are all the same location. Would it be possible to program in a little check for close matches on addresses - particularly for different puctuation (e.g. "Launceston, Cornwall, England" and "Launceston Cornwall England") or abbreviated countries (e.g. "England" and "ENG") just to save users a bit of time?
The information that you already confirmed and copied to your tree online will be syncrhonised back to the tree on the Family Tree Builder. In other words, the data that was copied to inside your tree is synced.
It doesn't mean that the list of matches to confirmed or reject will be updated in the FTB, with those that you already worked on the site.
This happens because actually the Family Tree Builder and the site works independently and with different algorythms with the Smart Matches. Both, from each 'side', look for matches into a pool of profiles. It would look like something like so:
FTB <====> POOL OF PROFILES <=====> WEB
Therefore, I would recommend that you alway work on one of the platforms with the Smart Matches, and I suggest to work with them directly on the site, because the Enhanced Smart Matches technology is only available online. After you have confirmed and copied all the matches, you can then simply sync your tree on the FTB and all the information copied to the tree online will be synced back to your project on the FTB.
I've been thinking about this, and can't see why the smart matches window in FTB can't access the smart matches confirmed on the web - that is, when you click on the green symbol, FTB then downloads matches (or in response to "update now" button), so surely it wouldn't be too difficult to link that to the smart matches on the web. From what you say, it seems you are running two different smart match facilities, which doesn't seem sensible or efficient?
I understand how the sync works, but why is the smart match confirmation/rejection not included in the sync? That is, when syncing the other information, couldn't you sync the smart match confirmation/rejection data as well, or is it too much data to download? But then, you'd only have to download the recent chanhges, not the whole database of matches.
Im not sure if From place is needed. You can always assume that previous Move to place has that information and you can always use the Settlement to keep a Place too. I use Settlement to keep track of all Sources/Events between moves.
However it would be nice if the sorting was working in the WEB/FTB trees. In WEB tree Moves is sorted before Settlements instead of a Timeline. In FTB Move and Settlement can switch order when dates are the same.
I have various ancestors whose names were spelled a variety of ways - in official/primary sources no less. For instance Couchet/Cochet/Coché/Cousiee or Andriaenken/Adriaentje. It would be great if there were fields for these alternative spellings, which could then be taken into account when doing smart matches/research. (I used to put the alternative spelling in brackets, but in the cases where there are three or four, it becomes to cumbersome.
You can send a comment to the other site manager when rejecting a smart match, already. Just go to compare trees, go to bottom of page, send message, then go back to smart matches and reject the match. Have a great day!
I like the Smart match function a lot but very often, when I checked them, I see that I have already confirmed all of them. So, a visual indicator like the colour of the Smart Match Icon green for completely new and never confirmed SM, orange for some new and some already confirmed and red or grey for no new but already confirmed SM would be great
This is basically "copy or retype all the stuff from one card, and delete it", which is time-consuming. It would be so much better if a merge could be done, similar to what is done when comparing my tree and another tree - clicking on the "merge" button allows data to be copied from the other tree. In the case of duplicates, it would be great if there was a way to copy everything from one card (to be selected by the user) into the other card (also selected) using a similar merge page before deleting the duplicate card.