NZ Rail Maps: NZRM Web Maps Update 2021-01-17

First published on NZ Rail Maps
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Good morning. This week’s update to the site adds new content as well as some client changes.

  • A separate page from the main webmaps site shows the special set of aerial photos taken of the South Island East Coast following the 2016 Rotherham Earthquake. This is at a resolution of 0.2 metres per pixel and because of this, the maximum zoom level is 18 instead of 19. Click here to view these maps.
  • The complete Main North Line is now present in the maps.
  • The rail ferry route from Picton to Wellington has been added to the maps to join the North Island and South Island networks. This appears under the Current Tracks overlay.
  • The first 32 km of the North Island Main Trunk (from Wellington to South Junction) has been added to the maps.
  • The centre coordinates of the map viewer (which are set each time the index page is loaded) has been changed from Christchurch to Wellington.
  • In order to make scrolling the map quicker the minimum zoom level has been reduced from 12 to 9 (equivalent to an approximate scale of 1:1 000 000). All layers except historical aerial photography have been extended to include these additional zoom layers. The map viewer initialises at 9 initially.
  • The map viewer initialises displaying Current Tracks and Former Tracks as well as Locations.
  • The Linz Basemaps contemporary aerial photography layer has been added as a live layer to the maps. This means the layer is displayed directly from Linz’s website and therefore it covers the whole of NZ not just the rail corridors that NZ Rail Maps covers. The layer is called “Aerial Basemaps” in the layer list.
  • Map boundaries have been added which prevent a user from scrolling outside of the boundaries of New Zealand in the map viewer.
  • The number of locations displayed at scales smaller than 1:100 000 have been reduced to make the maps easier to read at lower zoom levels, especially the new levels 9-11.

In addition, work has begun to create a section of the site to display the existing image-based format of Volumes 5 and 6 and add other volumes over time. Also the process of creating a PDF format for Volume 6 is currently being explored.

The Waiau Branch work continues in order to ensure all of the maps for this branch line are correct. There are just a couple of station layouts to complete as all of the historical aerial photography has been assembled and put into the maps. Detail for the line up to Hurunui will show at lower zoom levels but not beyond Glenmark at higher zooms.

Next week’s update is expected to continue on the NIMT and will add more distance. Initially adding NIMT has been slow because a lot of Basic level detail has had to be put into the maps.

It is important to note that there are numerous errors in the Basic level maps that are being created for webmap purposes as many of these maps date back more than 10 years when much less freely licensed aerial photography was available. The exceptions are Volumes 5 and 6 which are up to date and also a considerable part of Volume 1 and Volumes 10 and 11 in Christchurch which were being updated before and during the earlier stages of the webmaps project last year, plus numerous other sections of various volumes. The errors will not be corrected until project volumes are systematically updated. It is only assured that a minimum level of detail is included in all Basic level maps but the older maps are not being widely updated in this initial effort of bringing the webmaps site online except where that minimum level is missing.