Friday 30 December 2016

Project update

Well since I wrote in my last post about rearranging my two Flickr accounts, I have been busy - I went away to Dunedin for a few days over Christmas - but I have now completed a monumental task of downloading almost 200 individual albums from the enzedrail Flickr albums and uploading them to the kahukowhai albums. The upload totals show that approximately 12200 photos were uploaded to the new albums. The reason there were so many albums (a great many of them contain only a few photos) is that the rail photos were classified by location and accordingly, there are a lot of locations on the railway network in NZ. They are all grouped at the end of the albums list under the RAIL: prefix, but there are about 180 albums in that classification as notable albums have been moved into the list of general albums. Supposedly there are nearly 50,000 photos now on that site and only 2700 on the NZ Rail Maps flickr site (enzedrail).

The outstanding work that was waiting to be completed when the photos were over on enzedrail will now be pushed ahead and that is to go through all the albums and add the contents to RAIL: albums where the locations are known, this will result in more complete album contents with all of the locations for every photo being better known. In the main part the Transport <year> series of albums are the ones to be gone through to arrive at these locational classifications because a lot of them haven't been classified in this way up until now. But also there are some rail albums that are for different things like locomotive classes and they haven't been pulled out of the other albums yet. This is a lot easier to do with all the photos in one place instead of being spread across two different Flickr accounts as they have been.

Meanwhile work goes on with the maps themselves. As it was known that there were some bugs in 2.17 version of Qgis and as there is a new 2.99 master version I decided to upgrade the MainPC installation to 2.99 which has happened. But although one issue with the rule based styles is gone from this edition, there is a new problem when adding records to a table which contains a value map in one of its fields because the values in these fields keep getting trashed and reset to Null when you save the new records. I updated at the same time my VM to 2.18 from 2.16 and found the rule based style editing problem still happening. So I cloned this VM and removed Qgis completely then installed the LTR version, 2.14.10, as there was really only the choice of 2.14, 2.18 or 2.99 to install.

So at the moment for example I have been doing some detailing of the MSL with adding the km pegs and changing the bridge details to show the bridge numbers. Well this is tricky because to add km posts, I have to use 2.14. To straighten up the routes I have to use 2.99. So I have to run 2.14 in a VM and 2.99 on the computer itself, both with the same project and data files open, although it is a different version of the project file because as usual the later version upgrades the project file to a new format. Kind of messy but it's what I have to do at the moment until the project developers fix the add records problem in 2.99.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Best way to share maps online

As this project evolves, there will be two main ways that maps will be published:
  • As volumes online (CreateSpace)
  • As individual maps
Currently the individual maps are stored on Flickr as it appears to have the best system for displaying the images that make up the maps.

I have two Flickr accounts, one for rail photos (enzedrail) and one for general photos (kahukowhai). In order to keep with these two accounts and the best usage of the resources, I plan to proceed by using enzedrail only for the maps, and kahukowhai for everything else. This actually makes a lot of sense, since the maps really need their own site, while the other rail photos should be amalgamated with the rest of my photos.

As of today enzedrail's photo albums will be reorganised. This has been done with the map albums being renamed with the region they are in and grouped by the region. So that looks quite good, and I have uploaded some new map sets as well.

It will take quite a while to shift the photos across to kahukowhai.Fortunately I have found a free FlickrDownloadr application to download the albums one at a time and then they can be uploaded one at a time through the upload page. Since Flickr decided to charge for their Uploadr tool, I was tempted to sign up for a Pro subscription for long enough, but have decided to manually upload as the downloader only brings down one album at a time anyway.