Saturday, 26 June 2010

Upcoming content on this blog and NZ Railmaps

Although there has not been much happening on this blog lately, there will be new content coming soon which is a republication of certain content that used to be provided on my older websites that are now closed. Some of this content has recently been archived for public viewing on NZ Railmaps but it is more appropriate to publish it on the blog rather than in that website and therefore I will be taking the opportunity to update it as well as making it available to a wider audience through this blog.
Lately the main changes in NZ Railmaps have been in the International section where I have expanded the coverage of Wales. There are now separate files for North, Central, West and South Wales. As the geographic definitions of this Welsh regionalisation are not very clear cut I have taken some suggestions from Wikipedia for the boundaries of these files. The UK mainland is very interesting from a historical railway perspective due to the large number of routes that were constructed, many of which are now closed today but of which substantial traces remain. Wales is a spread out country like New Zealand, with a similar population albeit in a much smaller land area, and due to the nature of population distribution and lack of intensive development many of the old lines have substantial remnants still easy to follow. There is also excellent Google Earth coverage, and a very good resource of old maps to trace out the lines from at the New Popular Edition project’s website, something not yet matched in New Zealand. There is also a file for Ecuador, but it is unlikely this will be updated much in future due to the lack of suitable coverage of that country.
I have determined that the standard for international maps is that all lines will be traced in the same colour and therefore their status will not be determinable from the files. Only the major features will be marked, significant bridges or tunnels where still remaining today. Furthermore, no effort is made to determine the names of any routes. These restrictions will ensure that the amount of work needed to draw these maps is kept in reasonable proportion given that these are countries which I know relatively little about and have not visited.