Tuesday 18 June 2019

Project Development Report [2019J]

Currently I am in the position of reviewing the earlier PDRs of this year and as it is now the middle of the year, considering the best way of advancing the project for the rest of 2019. At the moment there is somewhat of a perception of low productivity more recently, and of having too many unfinished projects on the go at the moment.

At the end of January I looked at what it would take to have all 12 volumes completed at a "Basic" level by the end of 2019. But so far in the first half of the year, there hasn't been much work focused on a basic level completion, with the majority of time spent on "Comprehensive" level, and whilst there has been a lot done at that level, the goal of getting "Basic" levels advanced across all 12 volumes hasn't actually been achieved much at all.

At the same time I have other interests, including new ones that have been developed in the last few months, mainly to do with rail history and activism at a more local level, and whilst it's hard to see where these will go over coming months, it means I have to re evaluate my priorities and look at what can be achieved with the resources I have.Lately more time has been spent developing maps to support these local priorities, and whilst these maps have been part of the bigger scheme, they are being developed at Comprehensive level and will always take priority over any other region of maps production.

The PDR 2019D from earlier this year suggested a timeframe for development of the project with the Comprehensive coverage that might be achieved in addition to full Basic coverage. The main issue is that Basic coverage is not being progressed for a significant number of volumes. This involves getting a full set of recent best available Linz aerial coverage for every centimetre of every volume and then tracing whatever is on it and filling in other details from other current resources. To date whilst a significant amount of aerial coverage has been downloaded from Linz, it has not been imported into map projects and the disk space needed to store these large volumes of downloads (of which only a fraction will be used and it will be stored in another location) is significant.

It is therefore necessary to switch the focus back towards Basic completion in order to free up some disk space for Comprehensive level mosaic work to continue. At the same time I have to take a closer look at the level of Comprehensive coverage that can be realistically completed. Whereas in the past the widespread availability of aerial coverage of a reasonable quality at multiple generations for some areas led me to try to document all the changes in multiple generations, this takes a lot of work to achieve. Because Retrolens is making available NZR station and corridor surveys, I intend for the majority of yards to document the track layout based mainly on these surveys, even where other surveys are available that can document a track layout change. Building/structure layout will try to incorporate changes in major buildings or structures but if at all possible at one all-encompassing generation instead of multiples. So in terms of historical layouts, most of it will be referenced to when NZR official surveys were produced, which for most yards is around the 1970s or 1980s, the goal being to have as much as possible prior to deregulation in 1981 which had a major impact on the railway landscape across the country.

Right now priority is still with Christchurch maps and the mosaics are making major steps forward and there will be tiles produced this week for a lot of stuff. However it is necessary to progress Basic level development across all 12 volumes and so this will be the secondary priority but will be pushed ahead more than it has in the last few months to attempt to get the schedule back on track to where it was intended six months ago.