Indexing grave monument photographs

Extracting information from the images

Besides taking photos of the actual monuments, an equally important job that needs to be done before the information they contain can be added to the website is the extaction of the person information. However if you do not feel confident or have the time to index photos then please just send us the photos and we will index them.

The information that needs to be extracted for each person named on a monument is as follows:

  • surname
  • forenames
  • year of death
  • age
  • year of birth
  • relationship to the first person named on the monument
  • title (eg military rank etc)

Please note that it is very important to record details of every name listed on the monument. For example, often a monument will say wife of or husband of even though these people are not buried in the grave. By listing all names, the Resource is making it much easier for researchers to find missing members of their families.

The relationships mentioned on a grave monument are stored within each person record help within the GPR database. For each person record, these relationship codes relate to the relationship between that person and the first person mentioned on the grave monument.

Many monuments give the exact date of death but this does NOT need to be recorded, just the year although if it is entered then it will be stored with the database. If either the age or the year of birth are not given then it is not necessary to calculate them - the website does that instead. When the website calculates either an age or a data of birth, it displays this information in red.

The easiest way to store details of the images for each graveyard is on a spreadsheet. At the bottom of this page is an example spreadsheet to show you how to save the information for each image. You can download this empty spreadsheet which you can then use to record monument information.

Each graveyard or part of a large cemetery should have its own spreadsheet that should be stored in the same folder as the images. If you are able to do this information extraction it would be of huge help to the project.

When extracting data from your photos use a photo editing program to look at each image. If you do not have a photo editing program then the Resource is willing to purchase one for you. Images that are taken in portrait mode will normally need to be rotated by 90 degrees.

By using your photo editing program zoom feature you will often be able to read names and dates that are hard to read with the naked eye.

For each image record a portion of the photograph file name number. In the example spreadsheet below the first filename was "img_2413.jpg" and just the "2413" was used.

If you have taken a number of photos of the same monument then rename the later images. For instance, if you have taken images 2413, 2414 and 2415 of the same monument then rename 2414 to 2413a and 2415 to 2413b.

The "type" column shows the relationship between the names on the monument:

gravestone monument indexing tips

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Gravestone Photographic Resource (GPR)

An international directory of grave, tomb, war and other death memorials.

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