Stuart Thyer <s.thyer@...>
I was recently sent a link to a mapping website which, using googlemaps
as the basemap, allows you to draw over a map. You can scribble
freehand, use a variety of other shape and drawing tools, add markers or
even link to photos, You can also measure between points on the map,
either in a straight line or by using the freehand drawing tool. You can
also measure areas, it will give a result in square meters.
Unfortunately it does not seem to be able to measure in a line using a
polygon drawing tool, which makes measuring a rail line a slightly messy
affair. I measured the Alexandra Timber Tramway ay 383m, but allowing
for my slightly wobbly line, it is probably a few meters less.
You can save your results and send to friends and colleagues. Upgrading
to the pro version is required to access the measuring tools and is
free, for now. While not the most advanced tool in the armour of a
railway archaeologist, I'm sure it will be useful for quite a few tasks.
One feature I found intruiging is Open Street Map. There are a number of
base maps that can be used to draw from and when flicking through them,
I noticed that Open Street Map is curiously accurate for rail lines. At
Alexandra, it shows the rail line, including all lines into the shed,
the new triangle and intriguingly (but possibly inaccurately), it shows
the extension track heading into the adjacent timber yard. Closer to
home (for me) it shows the additional sidings currently being
constructed at Newport workshops, accurately. The sidings have been
built, but not yet connected to the main line, that's how they're drawn.
It even shows the entire layout for the Altona Miniature Railway. Open
Street Map appears to be an open source map that anyone can assist with