Welcome to Volume 6 Progress Update 23. Over the past couple of days we've been working on the Rimutaka Incline Section from Kaitoke through to Featherston. We now have complete aerial photos from 1943 and some other bits to work with. This is a reasonably straightforward task to complete but does require a bit of time spent at Cross Creek to try to draw a reasonable tracing of the track layout.
Work is also continuing to make a set of 1957 maps for the Western Hutt Section. We had expected to have these a couple of days ago but there were some software issues due to the size these layers had to be scaled in the computer, because the originals are at 1:27000 and have to be scaled to match 0.1m pixel Linz aerial imagery. This meant that the original layer with 3.6 million pixels got scaled 14x in each direction and ended up with 6 billion pixels which the software found difficult to manage, so we have had to crop off all the bits we don't need, like the hills either side of the Hutt Valley etc. No impact on the maps but a lot of positive impact on our sanity being able to save the graphics file without it taking 10 hours or using 100 GB on the disk or crashing. (The only numbers that actually happened are 12 saves that crashed and lost all our work before we figured out the cropping)
The best bit after coming up with a more realistic schedule is having a better life balance even with everyone in the country being stuck at home during Covid 19 lockdown, plenty of time for other things without spending all day on these maps, it's still an important daily use of our time but not to the exclusion of everything else. Should have these WHS maps published today, and have the RHS part finished up to Featherston by the end of the week certainly, even with a bit of revision of the Upper Hutt to Mangaroa section and looking at the Featherston Army Camp siding. There is plenty of slack time when making mosaics because the bigger graphics project files take a couple of hours to save and that leaves time for other things.
According to the original schedule that left three days to finish from Featherston to Woodville that included creating mosaics of the three major stations (F-C-M) plus the Greytown Branch. More realistically that will take another week, and then we allow one more week to finish from Masterton to Woodville. In theory that is just Basic level revision of the remaining maps, but when we did Volume 5, we would look at aerial coverage of the major stations to see what detail we could pick out on the ground, and that did slow things a bit. But at any rate we expect this volume will be completed by the end of the present lockdown, so even if the country is still quarantined at the end of April, Volume 6 should be finalised and released by about April 21.