Casefile Clues

08 July 2013

Thinking About FindaGrave Again & Are There Better Pictures?

I'm still working on a discussion of suggestions for citation and information analysis of images and other information located on Find A Grave.

Users of Find A Grave should be aware that sometimes (not always) it may be possible to get a better picture than the one that is on Find A Grave. In some cases, a better picture will not provide any additional information, especially if the stone is relatively modern or easy to read. In other cases it may be that a picture taken from a different angle, at a different time of day, or at a different time of year may result in a picture with additional clarity. Picture takers are human. The type of camera may also make a difference as well. Some stones are difficult to photograph and a "better" image may simply not be possible. There are times when actually being in the cemetery viewing the stone allows for the best reading of the stone to take place and there may be nuances that no picture will catch.

Astronauts say the real thing doesn't compare to pictures. I'm not certain we can compare looking at tombstones with looking at Earth from outer space, but hopefully you get the idea.

I prefer to transcribe the stone from the picture if at all possible.

And all of us should be thankful for the information that is available on Find A Grave. This is not meant to be a negative criticism of the site, but to serve as a reminder to those of us who use the site for our own research.