Last week Volume 2 of NZ Rail Maps had aerial coverage added of a part of the railway network of Palmerston North. A set of aerial images covering the early history of the”new” rail yards of the 1960 (dated 1967 so quite different from the present day) and probably a survey flown specifically for the New Zealand Railways Corporation at a scale of 1:2800 was put into the mosaics for the Palmerston North area. This week, work will continue with NZR aerial images from 1974 covering other parts of the Palmerston North network, and from 1977 covering the North Island Main Trunk corridor between Palmerston North and Bunnythorpe. A request is being made to Linz for what is believed to be the official station survey for Longburn station dated 1970, as there does not as yet appear to be corridor coverage for this station (which would also have covered Linton). What has been located are aerial surveys from 1937, 1941/42 and 1945 that cover Linton, Longburn and hopefully enough of Awapuni to try to nail down where the siding went out to the racecourse there. Coverage of Whakarongo from the 1960s/1970s is also being looked at and also the major part of the Palmerston North network from 1945 as to date only the coverage from this year of the Milson Deviation has been produced (this is all that is currently available at Retrolens). Most of the above surveys are not included at the Retrolens site and have had to be ordered directly from the Crown Aerial Film Archive. Once all this stuff comes in the maps can be finalised for Palmerston North and in all probability this is still going to take several more weeks, and adding it will be pushed ahead this week.
The second half of the week has been focused on reorganising the Project’s computer resources for better utilisation and taking a look at how project data can be shared with the Open Street Maps and Open Historical Maps websites. The reorganisation is a prerequisite to getting the web maps build environment operational again so as to be able to update it which is now well overdue, however OSM/OHM involvement is separate from the Project’s own web resources. The website really needs a big design makeover but struggles because it is not given a high enough priority compared to the rest of the maps project. However as the plan this year is to focus on outputs more than inputs, prioritising fixing the web site and creating complementary content on OSM / OHM is going to happen more than it has in the last year or two.
The blog website this article is published on has had a minor makeover due to WordPress updates, finally we can have full width columns that use all of the screen width. It has been a bit frustrating working on screens 1920 pixels wide to see columns using less than a quarter of that. Although to be fair the project has been stalling on migrating the blogs to the new WordPress template system, but never fear, Transport Safety Blog NZ has just been migrated to it so with a few tweaks that is more or less functional and sooner or later this blog will be updated to that. The NZRM project itself is shifting towards using the blog as the primary communication means with content being auto forwarded to other means such as firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook pages and one Facebook group via Buffer. Please note that because these general update blog posts are now more regular, the monthly project summaries won’t be published as they have been in the past.