Saturday, 31 October 2009

NZ Rail Maps Site Reinstated

Today I reinstated this blog and the associated NZ Rail Maps website. I used to have two rail related blogs and about half a dozen websites. Early February 2009 I decided to abandon a 25 year hobby of railfanning and take up new hobbies related to gardening and nature. This continues unabated at this point. However I have decided to reinstate this blog and the Rail Maps website. In the past nine months I have continued to pursue an interest in geography with the ongoing use of Google Earth, and have published a few articles on other blogs about rail geographical subjects. Since February there has been a significant improvement in Google Earth coverage, especially with the addition of Cnes/Spot satellite coverage of the South Island. This new coverage means that practically the whole South Island is now covered. This makes it possible to update all the unfinished maps. This will gradually be done over an unspecified period. I have done some small scale updating of a few maps, particularly the ECMT, Midland Line and its branches including Ross. So the maps will be available at the site again.
However, there are and will be significant differences in the way the maps and this blog are updated in the future:
  • Blog postings will mainly be in relation to website updates. I am not writing a significant volume of other material related to this subject. Nor am I routinely undertaking research or investigation into rail related subjects
  • Map updates are limited to improving existing maps when coverage improves. No significant effort will be made to try to identify points of interest that are not already marked. No completely new maps will be drawn.
  • There will be no research in relation to maps. I don’t have contact with the railfan community in NZ as I am not a member of any groups associated with this community. Nor do I have time to look up other sources of information in relation to maps. Essentially the process of improving maps is limited to identifying features that can already be seen in Google Earth, rather than locating existing non visible features.
  • There will not be a set timeframe in which maps are updated. Rather it will be done spasmodically as free time permits.
In addition, all other rail related websites I have produced in the past are not going to be reinstated. I have no ongoing interest in the other subjects that these websites covered. Nor will former postings to this blog or the old NZ Rail Maps blog be reinstated. Although it would be very easy to repost from source, I don’t have the source files stored anywhere and they were not backed up when the blogs were originally removed.
So that is how things stand. If you go to the website you will find some maps have been updated recently. That’s about all I have time for right now.