The geographic browser function I’ve talked about elsewhere is coming along nicely. Based on visitor feedback, I want to provide additional information about the markers used on the maps. The red and green markers are pretty much self explanatory, but the blue ones have caused some confusion.
First of all, it is important to note that the markers on the geographic browser maps do not reflect a precise location for a locomotive. They are intended to show general locale, like city, state or village. If you zoom in far enough, you may notice this. The blue markers, designating multiple locomotives were added to reduce clutter on the display and to provide more information. Let’s consider Galveston, TX. The blue marker there replaces three green markers, all of which were in precisely the same location. Without the blue marker, you’d only see the information for whichever locomotive’s marker ended up on the top of the pile. Instead we have a blue marker, which, when clicked, gives you the following display:
Pretty simple, really. The top line of the little pop up window identifies the location within the city, the second line lists the city, state and country. What apparently confused some folk visiting the site is when you have a blue marker in a city like San Antonio, where there are multiple locations within the city which have locomotives. Then you get a display that looks like this:
In this case, the top line(s) look much different. Each of the places, separated by the / character have locomotives, all within the city of San Antonio.
These information windows are generated by a computer program and stored pending someone clicking on the appropriate marker. The program isn’t particularly bright, and doesn’t make value judgments about what it includes. If, during data entry those many years ago, I listed one locomotive as being at the Harlequin Railroad in Left Overshoe, Nebraska and another at the Harlequin Railway in Left Overshoe, Nebraska then the program would list both locations on the top line.
Many more features are planned (and being worked on). One will make the locomotives in those pop up windows clickable to get a screen with everything we know about the locomotive.