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Website Updates 06-12-2020

  • Added KKStB 0-6-2cog at Großpetersdorf, Austria to the website and database.
  • Edited technical details for ÖBB 97.208 an 0-6-2cog
  • Edited technical details for CSD 0-8-0 No. 414.404
  • Edited technical details and location for StLB 0-6-2T No. U.9
  • Edited technical details for CSD 0-6-0T No. 310.037
  • Edited technical details and location for ÖBB 0-6-4T No. 598.02
  • Added ÖBB 598.03 (ex kkStB Yv.3) 0-6-4T to the website and database
  • Edited technical details for KKStB 2-6-2T No. 30.33
  • Edited location and technical details for CSD 0-6-0T No. 314.303
  • Edited location and technical details for CSD 0-6-2T No. U37.002

Also began work on a small enhancement for the site administrators. At present, if you move a locomotive from one location to another and the locomotive has a map, that map, for the old location stays in place. This, of course, is wrong. I am modifying the code that moves a locomotive from one location to another to also delete the old map.

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Posted by on June 12, 2020 in Website

 

The Notes System

Most all of you, I suspect have seen the little screen above. Way, way back in 2003, Tyler posted a note to the indicated locomotive, and this is how it displays if you click the Notes button for that locomotive. The website maintains a count of how many Notes are attached to each locomotive, and has done so for the last 17 years. The problem is this: I just discovered that it was not counting accurately. Thus, for some locomotives the count of notes stored in the locomotive’s record was actually larger than the number of notes for the locomotive stored in the system. And therein lies the problem. The image below shows two rows of the search results when I searched for locomotives in Calgary.

The little red and green dots are supposed to indicate whether the locomotive has a particular feature. Thus, the locomotive in the first row has a green dot for Notes, indicating that there are notes pertaining to this locomotive. The locomotive in the second row has red for that feature. Unfortunately, there was a bug in the system, since 2003 that failed to reduce the count of notes for a locomotive when a note was deleted. This meant that the counts for more than 1000 locomotives were above zero, when they should have been zero. So the little green dot would appear, you’d go to read the note(s) and it wasn’t there.

So in a fit of productivity, I wrote a nifty little utility to analyze the data and correct it. Now everything works correctly and I got to write a fun little blog entry.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2020 in Website

 

Website Updates 06-11-2020

  • +Added a photo of CFTVD 0-6-0T No. 51 in Burnhaupt le Haut, France
  • Editted technical details for Travaux Publics 0-4-0T in Butry-sur-Oise, France
  • Editted technical details for Ternyck Sugar 0-8-0T No. 10
  • Added a photo of Ecausse d’Enghien Belgium 0-4-0ST No. Unknown
  • Editted location and technical details of CSD 0-8-0 No. 411.019
  • Editted technical details of CSD 0-6-0T No. 310.006
  • Corrected spelling of city Nymburk in the Czech Republic
  • Editted location and technical details of CSD 0-8-0T No. 403.303
  • Editted technical details for CSD 4-4-0 No. 252.008
  • Editted technical details for FS 0-6-0T No. 899.006
  • Editted location and technical details for CSD 0-6-0T No. 310.001
  • Editted technical details for BBÖ 4-4-0 No. 1.20
  • Editted technical details for BBÖ 0-6-0T No. 494.62
 
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Posted by on June 11, 2020 in Website

 

The Location Button

Most everyone who has ever clicked on a thumbnail on steamlocomotive.info has seen the page below:

In the upper right hand corner, there’s a button labeled “Location”. If you know, or think you know the location of this locomotive, then you’re ahead of us and clicking that button will provide you with a choice of two convenient ways to send us the coordinates so we can add a map for the locomotive. So click the button and you’ll see:

Yes, I did say two ways, and there are three buttons. The Mobile Device method is currently disabled while it is being rewritten to work better and not annoy visitors so much. We can begin by clicking “Use Google Maps”. This will bring you to a page that looks like this:

We call this the geolocation window. In the case of this locomotive, we do not know where it actually is. The red marker in the center of the map is located at the approximate geographic center of Neuquen, Argentina, the town in which the locomotive is located. You can zoom in and out using the on-screen controls, or using the scroll wheel on your mouse. You can drag and drop the marker by pointing to it with your mouse and holding down the left mouse button. You can then drag the marker anywhere you like. When you release the mouse button, the marker will drop, and at the bottom of the screen you’ll see Google Maps API’s best guess as to the actual address where the marker landed. At the top, you’ll see the latitude and longitude of the marker. Once you find the locomotive, zoom in and place the marker as close to the locomotive as possible. Once you’re happy with the placement, click Submit and the map will be submitted to the Editors for approval. If you cannot find the locomotive, just click Cancel to be taken back to whence you came.

The next method to supply us with map coordinates for a locomotive is labeled :

This one is simple, convenient and works quite well. When you take a photo with you Android or Apple iPhone there’s an excellent chance that your phone embeded the latitude and longitude of the camera’s location in the photo itself. And we can read that, and use the information to make a map. So click this button and you’ll see the following:

Click on Choose File and find the photo you want to submit. Add your email address, and click submit. You’ll get one of two responses. If your image has geographic coordinates in its meta data, you’ll see a message page that looks like this:

The photo you submitted DID have GPS coordinates and a map will be addeded. If the photo you submitted didn’t have any GPS coordinates it will look like this:

Hope this all proves useful.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2020 in Website

 

Website Updates 06-09-2020

Spent several hours this morning working on a Javascript programming issue, without much resolution. Deferred that issue until later. Have begun working on the data for locomotives in France. So far this morning, have done the following:

  • Changed status of Carrières de Vaujours No. Unknown 0-4-0T to Display
  • Added SNCF 0-6-0T No. 8512 to the website. Added a photo as well.
  • Added a photo of SNCF (EST) 2-6-0 No. 130B 439
  • Added an updated photo of SNCF (Ouest) No. 030C 815
  • Added a photo for DEW 0-8-0T No. 6
  • Changed the status of CFTA 2-6-2 in Anse, France to Operational
  • Changed location and status of NORD (ETAT) 2-8-2 No. 141C100
  • Added a photo of CFTVD (Usines Metal) 0-6-0T No. Unknown
  • Editted technical details and status of CF du Nord 0-6-0T
  • Editted details and status of Est Pastre La Taye 0-4-0T
  • Editted railroad name for German Army 0-8-0T
  • Editted tech details for Cimenterie Dannes-Camiers 0-4-0VBTram
  • Added a photo for Distillerie Toullemonde 59 Ville 0-4-0VBT
  • Added a photo and technical details for an Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-0T

More to come as I continue to work on content today.

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Posted by on June 9, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update #1 06-08-2020

So far this morning have been working on updating and enhancing content for locomotives in Finland. In no particular order, we’ve done the following this morning (as of 8:24 am):

  • Editted technical details and location for VR 0-6-2T No. 951
  • Editted builder name for VR 0-6-0T No. 660. Builder was actually Hanomag
  • Editted location, builder information and empty weight for VR 0-6-0T No. 661
  • Corrected Notecount field for VR 4-6-4T No. 1800.
  • Editted location, builder information and status (now Operational) for VR 2-8-0 No. 1148
  • Changed status to Operational and added a video for VR 2-8-0 No. 1136
  • Editted location, status, builder details and technical details for VR 2-8-0 No. 1168
  • Added VR 4-6-0 No. 995 to the website. Also added video and photo for this locomotive.
  • Corrected location and status for VR 4-6-2 No. 1001
  • Corrected the spelling of the city of Hyvinkää throughout the database
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1044 to the “Lost” category
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1046 to the “Lost” category
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1020 to the “Lost” category
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1062 to the “Lost” category
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1075 to the “Lost” category
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1076 to the “Lost” category
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1079 to the “Lost” category
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1083 to the “Lost” category
  • Moved VR 2-8-2 No. 1086 to the “Lost” category
  • Added builder information for VR 0-6-0T No. 795
  • Corrected railway name and added technical details for Hyvinkää – Karkkila railway 2-8-2T No. 5
  • Corrected technical details for VR 4-6-2 No. 1021
  • Added video for VR 2-8-0 No. 1168
  • Added video for VR 4-6-0 No. 555
  • Added video for VR 4-6-0 No. 575
  • Added video for VR 0-6-0T No. 665

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update 06-07-2020

  • Made detail edits to 31 locomotives located in Cuba and Denmark, mostly consisting of technical details, and status.
  • Three additional locomotives are now listed as scrapped in Denmark.
  • Corrected the spelling of two cities in Denmark.
  • Corrected the location of a locomotive that was listed as being in the city of Danish Railway Club. The locomotive was actually located at the Danish Railway Club in the city of Maribo.
  • Numerous programming enhancements and bug fixes to the code that displays maps and allows the administrators to approve or disapprove submitted maps.
  • Added photos for two Danish and one Cuban locomotive.

Additional Actions 4:10 pm CDT

  • Added photos for 21 more locomotives in Denmark.
  • Moved three Danish locomotives to their current locations in Denmark.
  • Moved one locomotive from Denmark to the Swedish Railway Museum in Gavle, Sweden. (This move happed in 1996 and we just noticed now, sigh)

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update 06-06-2020

I am exceedingly pleased to announce that the map display function of steamlocomotive.info now works nicely. So how do you see maps? Well let’s suppose you’re looking at the information for Milwaukee Road 261. Here’s what it’ll look like:

Please note the globe in the upper right corner of the display, just above the words ‘United States’. Whenever you see that globe, there’s a map available for the locomotive. Let’s click on the globe and see what you get:

Here’s the map you’ll see. The icons along the right side of the display are controls you can use to affect how the map appears. The default map is small, just the size presented here. If you’re interested in seeing the map in greater detal, click on the square at the upper right and the map will expand to fill your entire screen. You can return to steamlocomotive.info at any time, when you’re in full screen mode just by hitting the escape key.

A couple of points to note:

  • You can zoom in and out using the + and – icons. If your mouse has a scrolling wheel, that will also control zoom.
  • If you drag the little yellow man onto the map and a road turns blue as he passes over it, you can drop the icon onto the road, and the map will switch to Street View.
 
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Posted by on June 6, 2020 in Website

 

Website Update 06-05-2020

Today I worked on the Javascript/JSON rewrite of the site’s map functionality. Good progress was made including resolving a JSON problem with the way latitude/longitude was being handled. Now have a working prototype for the map page that just needs features and some refinement. When I reached a stopping point in the coding, I did some content research in China. Here are the results:

  • Added Jiayang Coal Railway 0-8-0 No. C2 07 to the site
  • Added CR “Rocket” 0-6-0T Replica to the site
  • Added CR 2-8-2 No. SY 0764 to the site
  • Added CR 2-8-2 No. SY 1736 to the site
  • Added CR 2-8-2 No. SY 1407 to the site

Also added a total of 7 videos to the site, and 13 photos.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2020 in Website

 

Website Updates 06-04-2020

One concern that I have, going forward, is the accuracy of the data contained in our database. To that end, as a part of the ongoing modifications, upgrades and extensions to our website, I’m reviewing our data on a country-by-country basis. Over the past two days, I’ve looked at the records for about 1000 locomotives in Brazil, Chile and (oddly enough) Bulgaria. This is what the review process looks like:

  • Search youtube.com for videos of locomotives in the country which is being reviewed. Add any videos found to their respective locomotives.
  • In commons.wikimedia.org review the photos available for locomotives in the country in question. If a better image is available for a locomotive which already has a photo, move the original to a photo album and replace with the better image. If a photo is found for a locomotive which doesn’t have one, include it.
  • For each photo found in commons.wikimedia.org review any included data about the locomotive and update our data to reflect this where appropriate.
  • Where Notes exist for locomotives in the country being reviewed, compare the information in the notes to that in the database and correct where appropriate.
  • For locomotives without photos, use maps.google.com and Google Street View to attempt to find photos/images of the locomotive which can be used.

The techniques above resulted in the addition of 13 videos in the last two days, upgraded photos for 11 locomotives, new photos for an additional 14 locomotives, and over 220 data edits. Oh! And the addition of two locomotives that weren’t in our database. And it was rather enjoyable too.

Today, I began work on the Javascript programming to recreate the map functionality in our website. Much to my surprise, progress has been made. My test page is actually generating maps. Much further work remains, but this is not living up to the amount of dread I applied to it. Thank you for reading this nonsense.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2020 in Website