New Zealand Rail Maps Project Development Report – February 2023

Welcome to the project development report for February 2023. This month work has been ongoing in a number of volumes: 2, 5 and 9 covering parts of the NIMT, PNGL and Midland Line.

Due to a change in focus for 2023 and consequent expectations of a reduced time allocation for the project, it has been decided that the most important task to be completed with the least delay is to produce all 12 volumes to be put on the Volumes site for download. This is to ensure there are no further delays in making the full sets of maps available for general use. Rather than focusing on completing volumes to a certain standard before releasing them, the volumes will now be released at the current incomplete level, and completion will occur at a later date. Therefore, there is no intention to focus on completing particular volumes to an agreed standard like there was with Volume 11 recently for example.

After all 12 volumes have been produced and released for download at the Volumes site, the next steps will be decided but in the meantime work will continue on adding new station maps and aerial photos to the existing volumes but without being tied to any particular volume at any particular time. The revised filename format adopted within the last couple of years makes it very easy to replace existing content and add new content within an existing location of a volume without having to change all the existing filenames, and it was envisaged as such from the beginning.

Therefore the production of the 12 volumes for release does not constrain updating of maps which is expected to continue occurring throughout the rest of 2023 and beyond. It was suggested in last month’s report that volumes 2, 5, 6, 9, 10 and 11 were a priority to be worked on in the current year. This may still be the case but it is possible some of the other volumes may be updated as well. Noting that Volumes 5 and 6 were previously released, the updated releases will incorporate all updates that have been completed since the production of the earlier editions of those volumes, however these volumes have not yet been fully updated since that time so there will be ongoing work to update them as required just like any other volume.

Some improvements to the live webmaps are also planned for this year but without a certain timeframe. It is hoped to add the Linz topographical layer to the maps reasonably soon and it might be the case that a general content update will be scheduled for the end of this year.