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.