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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.