Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Project Updates 1/1/2019

Welcome to the new year. Since the last time I have been busy working on a few sidelines. Maps have been produced in two other areas in particular: a map of the closed Turakina-Okoia route of the MNPL, which was bypassed with a deviation in 1947, and starting to have a look at updates to the Nelson Section maps.

If you recall when the Nelson maps were produced around 18 months ago, they were the very first maps produced that used the contemporary Linz aerial photography as a background to a map, and also the first to draw on Retrolens resources. These changes were quite far reaching as many map styles for railway lines and features on the maps have had to be altered to make them stand out against a background of any possible colour. Most commonly this is done by adding a white outline to the existing grey or black colours that styles use. Tweaking of these styles continues to the present day of course.

It was also the first time I had used Retrolens' historical aerial photos in any measure. These images informed our knowledge in particular of the route taken south of Glenhope to nearly Murchison, as the earliest available are from the early 1940s, at a time when construction works had only been abandoned some 15 years previously, so that much of the formation work was still easy to locate. Hence the maps were able to be very detailed in locating the rail corridor of its time.

What wasn't carried out at the time was the use of aerial mosaics using original aerial photography on top of contemporary as I usually do now. As a result, station layouts such as I would draw them today were not produced. To rectify this omission, I am putting together mosaics for all the stations that I can find, and these will be incorporated into updates of the maps. There will not be overall revision of the maps as a whole, what will be done is to reissue some of the map tiles that have already been published to incorporate these layouts along with any new tiles that may be needed. This includes the Scribd published map volume for what is now Volume 7.

I have also been very pleased to discover much better aerial photography for the background for Volume 7. There is 0.1 metre resolution coverage of Nelson City and 0.3 metre coverage of Tasman District. For the ones I did 18 months ago I had to use some older Tasman District photography which turns out to have a resolution of only 1 metre which is very poor and is the lowest quality I have ever seen on LDS. But I found that for those areas I can now add some 0.3 metre stuff which for some reason wasn't able to be used last year.

I am also downloading the rest of the aerial photography needed for Volume 4. This isn't because I intend to do a lot of work on Volume 4, but because I will take every opportunity to download the aerials for every volume regardless, because I want to have a complete set of basic maps for every line in NZ that I can refer to at short notice. It may well be that every volume will have a set of basic maps produced this year so that the website has a full set of content available, but the updates to most volumes except for 5 and 12 that are going to be top priority this year, will be much more in depth and detailed. Basically with everything else there will be a quick once over just to line everything up with the aerial photos and then a set of maps will be pushed out for public use. This is in line with the previous intentions to issue maps in a new easier to navigate format, except that I intend now to revise everything first.

Apart from the above, I have also been working on Volumes 5 and 12. In Volume 5 in particular I produced a basic set of maps for Wairoa using historical imagery going back to 1942. I now need to get back to producing the  aerial tiles for every station on the route and then get on with revising the maps in general. Volume 12 work continues with production of aerial mosaics (Alexandra will be the next set revised) and drawing in stuff at Clyde.