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I also stopped taking photos because I refuse to allow others to grade my volunteer efforts. Once I am done transcribing my pictures frownthere will not be much left to do here.  I have considered using my camera to add supporting records to avoid the transcribing system but that is much more work so who knows...

asked in Taking Pictures by MHGS_ICT_CemProj BG Explorer (4.5k points)
Don't take the grading so personally.  If you upload 100 images and 5 of them are too blurry, then what good is leaving them there.  Even if the photo is okay, but the headstone is still not readable, what good is it?  Yes, you didn't do it on purpose, but it just can't be used.  So what?  Next...., just move on and don't quit doing something good for others.  Just be very careful and aware of how your photos are going to come out.  If it looks bad in your viewer, it's going to look bad on screen.  No one is judging YOU.  It is not about you, it's about doing something good for the world, don't you agree?
Hi Mary

For taking pictures

I dont leave bad photos in my albums I delete them because they are not any good. I take good pictures in General. I just will not waste my time taking photos that transcribers may flag down due to condition. Its not about me feeling judged. I just wont risk wasting my time taking pictures that are getting flagged because the transcriber does not like a faded or decayed stone.

Transcribing other photos that are not my own I am forced to judge. That will discourage beginners and children from using the website.

4 Answers

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I thought the same way when the 'grading' system first came out. I was concerned about it because of my efforts to identify 'ALL' graves in my local cemetery. This meant I was photographing smashed headstones, deteriorated headstones, burial mounds and bare earth. I had to do that to get the GPS location and the known graves surrounding the unknown ones.

Many (over 1000) of my photos have been reported and removed from my 'score' if you like. It's easy to tell this by looking at the cemetery map...it'll say there are no stones to transcribe, but you can see by the pins that many do still need transcribing...these are the ones people have reported and removed from the queue as far as I can tell. I could not care less about this because I know why I took the photo and I will identify the burial even if it takes me 10 years to verify it.

With the thumbs up/down system...I have not seen any change to my photos because of this...I've still got five stars...but who cares? Not me. I don't like it...but at the same time, you are actually judged any time you perform work, voluntary or paid...someone is always judging you not matter what you do...and if what you do makes you happy, then who cares what other people think.

When I transcribe, I have a choice...transcribe or hit next. If I choose to transcribe then the photo gets a thumbs up...if I hit next then there is no need to rate the photo. Easy and I'm not left feeling bad about judging someones work...I do this because I don't know what they have been through to get those photos, so who am I to judge them from the comfort of my laptop on the other side of the world.

All in all...if it makes you happy to contribute, then do it and put up with the changes that are made, good or bad and work towards trying to improve the system. If it does truly make you unhappy then make the decision to move on...life is too short to be unhappy with something like this.

I'm not happy with everthing BG does, but it makes me happy enough to continue contributing, helping others and trying to make a difference.
answered by Whitejaegar BG Master (92.8k points)
I agree 100% with you.  I had hoped to continue to record entire cemeteries. Its not possible to do this using the transcribing system. The rating system discriminates out the old stones and broken stones that I could eventually use records to Identify. Now I walk through cemeteries skipping the old or abandon stones and broken stones because they are not transcriber baby proofed. I have also had to skip family lots because there is no way for me to know which names go to which surnames stones until I upload. Once I do that I could lose linking control to a transcriber so I quit taking photos of family lots all together when I cant be sure.

As long as the transcribing system is set up the way it is I have to either stop using GPS and switch to manuel or (Supporting) records or just quit once the rest of my photos are transcribed.
I have also been somewhat disheartened by images marked as "thumbs down" before I had a chance to work them further myself.  What I'm trying now is adding the transcription record to the image while I'm still in the cemetery; not the full transcription (because that is WAY too painful to do on that itty bitty phone screen.  I'm too old!) but just something in the last name field to indicate to myself that I need to revisit.  The image then gets uploaded with the transcription, and I believe that keeps it out of the general transcription pool.  (At least, it doesn't have the little pencil icon when I look at it in My Photos).  I can then go in and edit it myself later.  I've only just started doing this, so can't be positive that it is doing what I think.   And I think the app transcription is only available on iPhone?  Not sure about that.

A BIG caveat is that you have to get your linking right at upload time if you are transcribing before upload, as it is impossible to link transcribed images.  (Altho you can link an untranscribed image to a transcribed image.)

There have been a lot of postings to the Community about the ability for a photographer to hold his/her images back from the transcription pool, with many valid reasons given.  I hope BG is listening.

Don't give up!


The Android app doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the iPhone app does.  There is no way to transcribe before upload.

I know it's because there are so many different types of Andriod devices that makes it difficult to design a one-size-fits-all app, but I kinda fell like the red headed step child of the BG family.broken heart


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The rating system was designed to keep everyone honest for the contests.  The contests attract people who are in for the prizes and will go for quanity of quality.  Only records marked as blurry are counted against the photographer and an occasional thumbs down will not hurt the otherwise good quality photographer.  A poor rating should disquality users from winning the big prizes.
answered by BeNotForgotten BG Veteran (14.5k points)
That is not followed. Everyone has there own definition of perfect. That is what they use to report
As long as the image is not marked as blury then it doesn't count against the photographer.  I've had thumb's down images because the monument is beyond transcribing ( I knew this when I took them); however, I must not be loosing too many points because I still have a five star rating.  I don't know if anyone at BG looks over these reported images, but it doesn't seem to hurt anyone who usually takes a good picture.


I'm new ish, so I'm not quite following whats going on here. When I upload photo's, I go through all of my pictures. I delete all the unreadable ones. Sometimes I take a picture of my shoe by accident. Don't you go through your pictures, to see if they are good enough to transcribe? Its seems odd to whinge about a thumbs down, if you take a **** shot. I also don't take pictures of stones I can't read when I'm standing directly in front of them. If I can't read it and I'm onsite, then how can it be transcribed?
You should take images of every tombstone in a cemetery regardless of its readability.  Why? Because that monument will have a GPS pin in the cemtery and it's quite possible that someone at sometime may be able to identify if.  It will not count againt your rating to have an image of a monument that is worn.


BTW, I'm not whinning I was trying to explain how it works.
I am just as annoyed by a thumbs up as the thumbs down Next thing you know people with 5 stars will be on here bragging  just to be  obnoxious so they can make beginners feel bad. They will be looking down on those who dont have 5 stars. I will not feed an egotistic person or make some one feel bad for trying, like those who brag about 5 stars.

I go through my pics but often missed some in the 700. I then go through each one on line but there is no way to correct when a transcriber beats me to it.

Also people are removoving photos because of the condition of the stone and you cant stop them even if you can transcribe them

Everybody starts out with 5 stars!  Deductions are made for reported blurry images.

Also people are removoving photos

No one can removed your photos.  To do that they would have to have access to your 'my photos' file.  For reasons that I don't understand BG set it up so that reported images are no longer found in 'my photos' (where they go I don't know) but you will find them on the cemetery map as a green pin.

For the record, I am not bragging what I am saying is an occasional thumbs downs on any image other than one reported as blurry will not hurt your rating.  I am a good example of that.

I have to admit that since the rating system began I have seen an overall improvement in the quality of images.




transcribers do remove photos.

I will not discriminate against fellow volunteers nor will I praise them. I can no longer photograph old stones because I refuse to risk wasting my time if a transcriber ignores blurry only. There is a 50/50 chance hat will happen.

 I stopped showing kids how to use the ap and website because penalizing a beginner or a kid is just disturbing to me on all levels. I will not reach out to others to get them to try this ap and website.

I stopped photographing family lots with surname stones the transcriber system could prevent me from linking them later if i am not sure who the  names go to while in the cemetery.

A large number of stones that are now disscriminated out because I refuse to risk wasting my time in a cemetery, I take less than 200 pics a month before up to 8,000. In a small cemetery of 8 only 2-3 people can be photographed that will not likely risk wasting my time using transcriber system.

I was actually in one with 6 and my husband is like you are missing these. I said I know I have no choice. I wont risk wasting my time.

"transcribers do remove photos."  Okay then please explain to me how transcribers are removing  your photos, but not mine.  If your images have gone missing then please contact support  and also change your password ASAP because maybe your account was hacked and someone is playing a trick on you.

 Why are you blaming  the transcribers?  It's not a transcriber's fault that BG pulls an image out of 'my photos' if it gets reported.  

While I no longer find certain images  of mine in 'my images' I do find them on the cemtery map with the green pin. So while they are not in the photo files they are still in the sytem they are not gone. 

I think it a really good idea that you not waste your time with BG.

That is false it counts against you if you delete your own pictures.
Really?  This is news.  With all the images that I've deleted it has never made an impact on my rating.

How did you determine that deleted images counts against a person's rating?
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Ich denke, dass die Sterne für die Motivation dienen, also lediglich zum Ansporn diese 5 Sterne zu behalten. Es ist auch kein Bewertungssystem über die Person, sondern soll die Qualität der Arbeit beurteilen.
Wenn eine Bild verwackelt oder verschwommen ist, sollte der Fotograph dieses erfahren und die Möglichkeit erhalten, das Bild / Grab erneut ordentlich zu Fotografieren. Einfach beim Fotografieren eine halbe Sekunde mehr Zeit lassen. Wenn dann ein Pünktchen abgezogen wird, warum nicht?

Anders würde ich jetzt bei guten Bildern verfahren, wo der Grabstein selbst aufgrund Verwitterung, extremen Pflanzenwuchs nicht lesbar ist. (Hier ist jetzt kein entfernbares Laub oder ein Ast, den man kurz zur Seite schiebt, gemeint.) Das sollte keinen Einfluss auf die Punkte / Bewertung haben. Und dieser sollte weiterhin evtl. mit entsprechendem Vermerk für alle Sichtbar bleiben. Eventuell sogar eine eigene Rubrik erhalten, um genau solche Grabsteine zu finden. Es gab immer mal Schulprojekte bei denen alte Grabsteine untersucht, abgeschrieben und katalogisiert wurden. Irgendwer erinnert sich vielleicht und kann die fehlenden Informationen hinzufügen.
Wäre für BG ein guter Tipp! Die Suche nach "nicht lesbare Grabsteine". wink

Was wird es erst für Diskussion geben, wenn BG das Punktesystem für Abschreiber einführt! blush


I think that the stars are used for the Motivation, ie to keep only incentive for these 5 stars. There is no rating system on the person, but to assess the quality of work.
If an image is blurred or hazy, the photographer should learn this and given the opportunity, the image / grave again properly to photography. Just leave a half-second more time when taking pictures. Then, when a dot is drawn off, why not?

Otherwise I would now proceed with good images where the grave stone itself is unreadable due to weathering, extreme vegetation. (This is now no removable leaf or a branch that you just push to the side, meant.) This should have no effect on the points / rating. And this should still might remain visible to all with appropriate attribution. You may even get a special section to find exactly those grave stones. There was always time school projects where old grave stones examined were written and cataloged. Someone remembers and maybe can add the missing information.
If for BG a good tip! Search for "unreadable grave stones". wink

What there will be only for discussion when BG introduces the point system for transcribers!

answered by Erik Werthschulte BG Explorer (5k points)
The rating system was introduced because of complaints concerning lousy images and the contests.  In a rush to rack up the numbers the contests image quailty wasn't  being taken into consideration.  The rating system is suppose to keep everybody honest.
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I discovered quite by accident that if you use Control-S that is seems to by passby having to click on thumbs up or thumbs down for each image.  When transcribing images this may be something you might like to try?
answered by BeNotForgotten BG Veteran (14.5k points)