NZ Rail Maps Project Development Report [2020M]: New Web Maps Site To Go Live 1 January 2021

Good morning. As can be seen, this is only the second update for December so far as the project management has been very busy as is common for this type of year. A considerable part of this has been tied up with migrating the affiliated website to a new web hosting platform. This work is material to the NZ Rail Maps project as posts from this blog are syndicated to and as this is a “dummy run” for the migration of this web site and blog to the same hosting platform. As a part of that, the affiliated Christchurch Transport Blog was taken out from the umbrella of the the domain name and given its own domain.

Whilst map completion has been slower in the period, it has been decided to freeze map development as of today and start building the new web site. This is enabled by a decision to create the maps not as a volume, or a section of New Zealand, but as a continuous set of maps for the whole country, which is much easier to do in the web maps system than the old way that maps used to be produced. Since the creation of maps will be ongoing, there is no benefit to withholding the completion of map creation work until any particular point in time, regardless of specific goals or objectives for completion of a particular area or section. This is an important consideration because it has been frustrating for project management to see the next webmaps update take longer than expected to be completed.

The change in tempo therefore now is to commence build the new web site on a new hosting platform (Dreamhost, which is the same one that now uses) and upload the web maps based on the current level of map creation which has been frozen as of today. Project management is working towards a goal of having the new site go live at 1 January 2021.

It is important to emphasise that the web site itself, as well as content, will be incomplete at that time, with a number of user interface features still to be developed. The intention is also to get as quickly as possible a set of basic maps for the whole of NZ up on the site and then fill in additional (intermediate/comprehensive) coverage later on. The web site will look very much like the most recent preview (Volume 6) on the current site in terms of its user interface.