Friday, 18 October 2019

Project Diary 2019-10-18: Christchurch Maps

Progress on the maps this week has continued to focus on the Main North Line section of Greater Christchurch. This inches on towards completion with, we estimate, just a week more work to finish it. Quite a bit of work was needed just to add a 1955 aerial image showing the old route between Chaneys and Kaiapoi (deviated in 1958), and the similar but less lengthy realignment between Rangiora and Ashley (1961) is also going to be included. We also expect to show the first couple of km of the Eyreton Branch having found an image dated 1963, one year before the purported closure date. As of this moment, all of Belfast from 1950 to 1985 has been put in, and what is actually left is some of the imagery for Papanui, Styx, Kaiapoi, Eyreton Junction, Southbrook and Ashley. Flaxton isn't currently being mapped, but if I can find anything about it in Archives I may add it.

The extraction of the map tiles for any part of G.C. has proceeded quite slowly. The updates for Lyttelton have been extracted, paving the way to move on to Heathcote / Ferrymead. Once the maps themselves are completed then we can focus our full resources onto extraction. This is quite an involved process as it is not uncommon

Only one day of research has been possible this week, focusing mainly on Addington Station. So far we have avoided looking into Addington Workshops, planning to leave that for another time, but will try and find out if there is any coverage of Plant Zone.

In the wake of the local government elections with the result not showing much potential for the desirable level of change we sought, we are considering what level of campaigning to continue with. Christchurch Transport Blog has more details.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Project Diary 2019-10-12: Christchurch Maps

Local government election results are in and the unfortunate conclusion is we will not see much that improves Public Transport over the next three years in Greater Christchurch. More about this in Christchurch Transport Blog in the next few days.

Meanwhile Greater Christchurch maps are the main focus this week again and in recognition of the time this is taking, a project development schedule post went out earlier this week allowing for several months more work for the rest of the year and possibly the earlier part of next year on completing the GC maps.

The work is continuing on the last section of the Greater Christchurch map tile mosaics which is the section from Riccarton to Ashley. The tile work has been pushed ahead in the last few days. The research is also going ahead quite well with 50 files a week being worked through from Archives New Zealand's local office. However major areas are still to be researched including the stations of Lyttelton, Heathcote, Woolston, Opawa, Linwood, Addington*, Papanui, Belfast, Kaiapoi, Flaxton, Rangiora, Ashley, Middleton, Sockburn, Islington, Templeton. (* Addington has partly been completed, we have not yet looked at either of the Workshops or Plant Zone however and will have to prioritise these). The research has to do a lot of catching up as we only decided to start researching Greater Christchurch stations towards the end of August.

The tiles for most of Lyttelton have now been extracted but a small change put into the mosaic means re-extracting a small number. In the coming week we can expect to see tiles extracted for Heathcote and Ferrymead.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

NZ Rail Maps Project Development Report [2019L]

After reviewing progress for the year so far, the goals that were set back in January and the progress achieved in them, the following decisions have been reached:
  • The maps for Greater Christchurch to be completed as intended, with multiple map generations, for four sections of line - Christchurch to Lyttelton, Christchurch to Lincoln, Christchurch to Burnham and Christchurch to Ashley.
  • Research undertaken at Archives New Zealand for map development purposes will be prioritised to that needed to produce the Greater Christchurch maps.
  • The estimation to complete the Greater Christchurch maps will be the end of 2019 but it is hard to be sure exactly how much time is needed as there is still a considerable amount of work needed to finish them off. The maps themselves are largely complete but the tile sets have to be extracted from every project file, and then checked for accuracy to see if any adjustments are needed. The maps then have to be traced off the tiles, and correlated with research information. This all takes a lot of time, and could well stretch into 2020.
  • After that, work will resume on the schedule published back in January, the priority being Basic maps for all other areas, with Intermediate or Comprehensive in a few areas. The amount of Comprehensive work will be strictly limited as we are running out of disk space in which to store the mosaic tile project files, so probably Basic completion will be prioritised except in Volume 12 which is committed to be completed as Comprehensive.  (To give some perspective, project development files currently occupy 1.5 TB of disk space of which 1.1 TB is mosaic tile projects)
Although the schedule has been pushed back a year by embarking on the Greater Christchurch maps, it was planned as the first year of approximately a 3 year schedule, so there is still a reasonable amount of time in which to push ahead and complete all 12 volumes in 2020. As we now have access to Linz aerial layers off WMTS, this will save greatly on the work needed to download the background aerial imagery for tracing Basic maps, which is quite time consuming. 

However the loss of this year from what was originally planned does mean the overall schedule is going to be reduced. To put it in a nutshell, the plan is that by the end of 2021, the project work will be substantially completed, with maps produced for every part of the national railway network of NZ. This will wind up 14 years of continuous work on the maps project. After that time only maintenance updates will be performed. We haven't yet confirmed this exact schedule for 2020-2021 yet but it will become clearer during 2020 exactly which schedule for project wind down will be appropriate. If 2020 is taken with all 12 volumes to Basic level this leaves 2021 available for Intermediate or Comprehensive level for some of those volumes but not all of them.