User talk:Afterbrunel

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Hello, and thank your for sharing your files with Commons. There seems to be a problem regarding the description and/or licensing of this particular file. Please remember that all uploads require source, author and license information. Could you please resolve these problems, which are described on the page linked in above? Thank you. --Siebrand 20:17, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Er, what page linked in above? I took the photograph myself and have released it to Wikimedia. Afterbrunel (talk) 16:55, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

Tip: Categorizing images[edit]

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Hello, Afterbrunel!
Tip: Add categories to your images

Thanks a lot for contributing to the Wikimedia Commons! Here's a tip to make your uploads more useful: Why not add some categories to describe them? This will help more people to find and use them.

Here's how:

1) If you're using the UploadWizard, you can add categories to each file when you describe it. Just click "more options" for the file and add the categories which make sense:


2) You can also pick the file from your list of uploads, edit the file description page, and manually add the category code at the end of the page.

[[Category:Category name]]

For example, if you are uploading a diagram showing the orbits of comets, you add the following code:

[[Category:Astronomical diagrams]]

This will make the diagram show up in the categories "Astronomical diagrams" and "Comets".

When picking categories, try to choose a specific category ("Astronomical diagrams") over a generic one ("Illustrations").

Thanks again for your uploads! More information about categorization can be found in Commons:Categories, and don't hesitate to leave a note on the help desk.

BotMultichillT 05:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, I've only just looked at this and it is categorised now. Afterbrunel (talk) 20:48, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

File:Helston bus routes.gif[edit]

File:Helston bus routes.gif has been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether it should be kept or not. We would appreciate it if you could go to voice your opinion about this at its entry.

If you created this file, please note that the fact that it has been proposed for deletion does not necessarily mean that we do not value your kind contribution. It simply means that one person believes that there is some specific problem with it, such as a copyright issue.

Please remember to respond to and – if appropriate – contradict the arguments supporting deletion. Arguments which focus on the nominator will not affect the result of the nomination. Thank you!

-mattbuck (Talk) 02:32, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Good grief! Afterbrunel (talk) 20:47, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Notification about possible deletion[edit]

Some contents have been listed at Commons:Deletion requests so that the community can discuss whether they should be kept or not. We would appreciate it if you could go to voice your opinion about this at their entry.

If you created these pages, please note that the fact that they have been proposed for deletion does not necessarily mean that we do not value your kind contribution. It simply means that one person believes that there is some specific problem with them, such as a copyright issue.

Please remember to respond to and – if appropriate – contradict the arguments supporting deletion. Arguments which focus on the nominator will not affect the result of the nomination. Thank you!


And also:

Yours sincerely, -mattbuck (Talk) 10:51, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Vintage postcard claimed as "own work"[edit]


I notice that you claimed the image File:Friochkeim.JPG as your "own work" because you "created this image based on a picture postcard from about 1900". If you mean that you simply re-photographed or reproduced the existing image with no artistic alteration, then it's very unlikely that (legally) you can claim any aspect of it as your "own work".

Regardless of whether or not this is the case, the underlying copyright in the original image still applies (and thus makes the image non-free regardless) unless it can be shown that this copyright has expired.

IMHO it's quite possible (if not probable) that in this case the copyright has expired and the image is in the public domain due to its age. This is why I haven't pushed for a deletion, but I can't be sure about that- the responsibility still lies with the uploader to check this.

This probably applies to a number of reproductions of existing vintage art and illustrations that you've been uploaded as "own work". If you think these are PD due to their age, I'd be grateful if you could please go back and correct the license information with the correct rationale.

All the best, Ubcule (talk) 17:14, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

(Following comment cut and pasted from User talk:Ubcule in order to keep discussion together where it was started)
Hi Ubcule,
There are a huge number of 1900-ish historical events crying out for an illustration, and of course no-one can go back in a time machine and take one. As far as railway history is concerned, it obviously is possible to photograph the remains nowadays, and there are quite a few images of trees overgrowing what might or might not be an old railway line; but they don't provide much illumination.
The other side of the coin is that some penniless bloke purchased a new-fangled camera and tripod and took the photo and sold it to some commercial postcard company in 1899 (or whatever date). The copyright expiry date is different according to whether he retained the copyright and merely licensed the postcard company to use the image, or sold them the rights.
Obviously I could try to find out whether the postcard company kept records of all that -- maybe they didn't bother -- and I could go to their offices if they are still trading and find out when the photographer died on one of the genealogy websites etc etc.
I tend to rely on the US copyright rule, which seems (it is very badly explained on Wikipedia so I may be wrong) to mean that if it was "published" in the US before 1923 then copyright has expired. That appears to mean that if one postcard was posted from the UK to the US it's ok, and if not, it's not. So I could search every picture postcard website in the US and see if I can find a copy. Of course just because one example *is* in the US it wouldn't prove that it arrived there *before* 1923.
The reality is that
* 1) I am not going to do that;
* 2) the Wikipedia page looks fractionally better with the image than without; and
* 3) the original photographer's estate (i.e. whoever he left title to the copyright to, in his will) of course won't get any money from this: if the copyright *has* expired they aren't entitled to anything, and if it *hasn't* expired we can't use it on Wikipedia so they won't get anything.
For those reasons I used the copyright explanation you have noted.
Frankly life is too short. If you feel strongly about this I suggest you report me to the hierarchy for infringing copyright. Maybe you'd let me know what you plan to do.
Afterbrunel (talk) 18:55, 31 October 2015 (UTC)
This appears to be the legal status of anonymous works originating in the UK; it suggests that the images are probably free, which I suspected was the case, but needed confirmed. (Commons requires images to be free in both the US and the country of origin.)
The image content itself is useful and well within Commons' scope. From that point of view alone, I (and- I'm guessing- most other Commons users) be very happy for it to remain on Commons- no problem there.
Usefulness alone isn't sufficient though- the whole point of Commons is that it's for freely-usable images. English Wikipedia permits limited "fair use" image use for cases where it's not practical or possible to take- or find- a free one. These have to be uploaded to Wikipedia itself, though, not Commons.
You're correct that I feel strongly about the integrity of Commons. If all Commons was was a repository of images of vague or undetermined status, we'd be as well simply ditching it and searching Google Images, or whatever.
I already made clear that I didn't think the images were probable copyright violations, that I suspected they were *probably* free due to age, and that I hadn't pushed for a deletion for that reason. However, "probably" okay isn't satisfactory IMHO.
I'd mentioned the legal status of re-photographed images because some people genuinely believe this makes them their "own work". From what you say, i.e. "for those reasons I used the copyright explanation you have noted", the implication is that you didn't really think this was the correct license, but you didn't know the correct one, i.e. you weren't sure why- or rather, if- it was free?
Regarding your three points, (2) is addressed above regarding "usefulness", (3) is a good point, but- with respect- irrelevant as the issue here is whether the image is free for use on Commons, not a Wikipedia "fair use" or other argument.
Regardless of whether it would suit your personal feelings on this matter to force me into being the petty, unreasonable nitpicker who "reports you to the hierarchy", I'll do what I had planned on doing anyway, i.e. tagging any obviously mislicensed images as "mislicensed" and seeking further advice on what the most productive course of action would be.
I appreciate that you uploaded these images in good faith, and that this seems like turning the whole thing into more hassle than it's worth. The images themselves are good, and probably free due to age anyway, but while finding the correct license can be a nuisance, it's important that we at least know why an image is *meant* to be free for use on Commons so we know where we stand.
It's generally a lot easier for the original uploader- who ought to know the source and status of the images- to determine this, rather than someone else to come along later and figure it out. On top of which, it's not reasonable for the onus to be on others either; if nothing else, uploading material on an unclear basis then expecting others to deal with mistakes and/or determine if any image is free if they have a problem with it would see Commons quickly descend into unworkability.
Ubcule (talk) 13:12, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
Hey this is an angry message, isn't it? No-one is trying to corner you into those things in your eighth paragraph above. But I seem not to have made my position clear. 1) I think the copyright has probably expired, but I can't prove it; life is too short. 2) When I have used the licence you suggest in the past, someone has complained and the Wikipedia hierarchy deleted a whole string of images. The admin who came to that conclusion was "Idontcry" but s/he would never tell me the rationale, despite several polite requests. 3) In the case of Friockheim I tried a different approach, viz: (a) the copyright had expired, (b) I made some (very) minor changes to the image, so (c) whatever very minor copyrightable artistic content it had was mine, (d) hence the copyright rationale I used.
That appears to me to be a responsible and practical way forward. But I'm really not trying to pick a fight with you or anyone else. Life is too short. Have a nice day. Afterbrunel (talk) 13:25, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

I'd intended adding this to my reply before you'd already replied:-
"Additional; I believe- based on my reading of the copyright status linked above- that if you genuinely believe these postcards to be anonymous works (and I agree that if the postcards themselves don't credit the author then it'd go beyond "reasonable enquiry" to find out) then they can be claimed as PD-UK-unknown. If this is the case, then we can tag them as such.
Are works like this one anonymous and pre-1945? (Almost certainly, but while the events portrayed date to 1843, it's theoretically possible- but unlikely- that the image is much newer!)"
If you were talking about IDontCry's deletion in Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_uploaded_by_Afterbrunel this discussion, I believe the problem is that your legal reasoning was flawed, using the US tags to explain why they were PD in the UK. Ideally, I'd take a look at these and see if they were usable under the rationale above, but I'm not an Administrator and don't have access to deleted files.
Anyway, maybe I can look into whether the PD-UK-unknown tag is okay. Was this actually the tag you used previously? Ubcule (talk) 13:42, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
As it appears you are generally trying to help -- until this I thought you were simply looking for someone to have an argument with -- I'll give this careful thought before I reply. Afterbrunel (talk) 18:30, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
I've opened a discussion at the Village Pump on the matter. All the best, Ubcule (talk) 23:55, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Much good may that do you. Isn't the Wikipedia Village Pump a bit like asking some blokes in the pub which is the best football team? (I am assuming you are UK based.)

The public domain licence you suggest looks interesting. A lot of early illustrations from the Illustrated London News and Punch are useful for depicting early railway events, but they suffer from the snag that the author is known, in the sense that "J Bloggs" is inscribed somewhere in the bottom right corner of the engraving. Since I can't possibly trace when J Bloggs died, and I don't know whether he signed over the IPR to the magazine (which shortens the "life" of the IPR), I am still subject to the hairsplitters whom we both dislike. You will notice that if you use this you still have to give a US public domain licence as well. This requires you to declare that the work was published (i.e. seen by someone) in the USA before 1923, I think.

In the case of a picture postcard photograph, to use the licence you suggest I have to state what efforts I have taken to trace the originator of the work. What might one write to respond to that, I wonder.

That reminds me, that in the unhelpful interlude with idontcry, I was using the US PD licence as a justification. According to my reading of the very difficult and obscure explanation of the PD rules in the help pages here, that "as the Wiki servers are in the USA, then the US PD rules are sufficient". Idontcry evidently didn't agree. That appears to mean that if the PD rules in (say) Kazakhstan maintain the IPR for 200 years, and as a Wikipedia article might be read in Kazakhstan, then the UK and US rules are nugatory. (I know about the "shortest term" rule but idontcry was apparently not impressed with that either.)

Let me know how you get on with the Village Pump. (Why does Wikipedia insist on using these folksy analogies? All I can think of in connection with that is Puritans in New England, and possibly "The Scarlet Letter". Don't they know we have mains water nowadays?)

Finally, for now, since you clearly know more about the byways of Wikipedia than I do, can you tell me how to find this page (other than by clicking on the email that comes when you write something here)? If I go to my User Page and then into the Talk tab, none of this stuff is there.

Have a nice day. Afterbrunel (talk) 12:49, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Regarding what you said above...

  • The basic principle governing non-US works on Commons is as described here:- "Uploads of non-U.S. works are normally allowed only if the work is either in the public domain or covered by a valid free license in both the U.S. and the country of origin of the work. The "country of origin" of a work is generally the country where the work was first published." (My emphasis).
  • Re: the PD-UK-Unknown license- sorry, I hadn't noticed that requirement.
  • As I mentioned on the Village Pump page, modifying an image to make it your "own work" for the purposes of bypassing the issue is unfortunately flawed. It rests on the assumption that "the [original] copyright had expired", but that's precisely what was under dispute (or needed to be shown) in the first place(!)- i.e. circular reasoning. If that's shown, then the derivative version serves no additional purpose. (It also (i) weakens the veracity or usefulness of the image if it's been modified in some unspecified manner and (ii) adds additional copyright complexities (yuk!))
  • I agree that sometimes discussions descend into pseudo-intellectual nitpicking, but I'm more sympathetic to the "hairsplitters" than you seem to think, since it's often a question of where one considers it reasonable to draw the line! As I mentioned, the usefulness of Commons is that it's meant to be a repository of free images- if we didn't care about enforcing licensing details or reasoning at all (and some uploaders care very little) it'd lose most of its usefulness IMHO.

Basically, I like the correct license details to be given even if some people think "oh, it's obviously free, doesn't matter if I just claim it as "own work"" (which is the default license). That way we know where we stand and even if there are problems with the license, we know the supposed basis on which an image is free and can work from there. It also makes organising images and determining their status in other countries (with different laws) much easier if they're labelled correctly. That's why I didn't like the "own work" claim when it apparently wasn't- it's not clear if and why this image belonged on Commons.

The Village Pump discussion doesn't seem to be serving its intended purpose of helping decide what should be done with the uploaded images. There's a place for such discussion (assuming those involved know what they're talking about), but it suggests that they don't already know or haven't figured out this situation yet. (Ideally what I'd have got would have been a pointer to an already debated and settled list of points clarifying the situation).

Ubcule (talk) 20:16, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

This is descending into intellectual masturbation now, and I am unwilling to participate in that. Let me set out my position once again:
The purpose of copyright rules is to compensate (pay) someone for their intellectual work. Common sense says that some humble photographer who took a picture of a railway station in 1905 and got paid 2/6 by a picture postcard company, is never going to get any more money from anyone, and therefore is not harmed by people using the image.
The law (and no doubt you yourself) say that such use is not allowed, however. It is also true that if I drive my car at 31 mph (or I suppose 30.001 mph) in a 30 mph limit, that is illegal. Pragmatism tells me that I need not go to the police station to confess that I once did so. In other words, is it remotely likely that Wikimedia will be sued for damages by my hypothetical half-a-crown cameraman?
I am well aware of the circular argument issue, thank you; I don't for a moment suggest that my use of the marginal IPR I might add to an out-of-copyright work makes it "become" out-of-copyright. My reason for doing it was simply to discourage, evidently in vain, this kind of argument.
In the wikimedia page on licensing to which you refer, you will have noted (in the colour comic strip section) that "buildings" up to 150 years old may not be photographed licence-free. I respectfully draw your attention to all those photographs of the Forth Bridge (1890) which is most certainly an iconic (i.e. full of IPR) design, only 125 years old. But then two wrongs don't make a right.
Have a nice day. Afterbrunel (talk) 21:00, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
The comic strip- which also appears on the upload page- appears to be aimed at complete newcomers. Presumably in order to keep things very simple while remaining valid worldwide, it's erred on the side of caution. There are issues with photographing buildings etc. in some countries, but the UK has "freedom of panorama", so it's not a problem here.
With respect, what I said above was a means to an end and an attempt to explain things, i.e. finding out whether (and how) the images belonged on Commons. I don't enjoy this personally and I'd rather this situation was far more clear-cut, but it's not.
Personally, I agree with many of the points you made regarding copyright. However, since we're keen to minimise "intellectual masturbation", I have to say that such discussion isn't directly relevant to the matter at hand, which is the status of your images under Commons' existing licensing policy (i.e. that requires images to be free under existing copyright law(s)). I don't believe- in this case- that Commons (or the users) will probably get sued for using the images you describe, but that's not the way Commons works.
Sorry if you felt the explanation of the "own work" thing was patronising- I'd interpreted it as a good faith (if flawed) attempt to work around the problem legally rather than intentional obfuscation. Since we're both clear on the situation now, it's clear that the license on these images will have to be fixed (by yourself, myself or someone else) if they're to remain on Commons.
All the best, Ubcule (talk) 20:25, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Right; just tell me, in words of one syllable if possible, what you would like me to do. Don't give me any background, or argument why something should be done or ought to be done. Just what you would like me to do.

I make no undertaking that I will do it. If I decide to do it, you will see the effect by Sunday midnight. If I decide not to, you will infer that fact on Monday morning and you will take whatever action you then consider to be appropriate. Without recourse to further discussion with me. Afterbrunel (talk) 21:21, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Honestly, what you do is your problem, not mine- I've already wasted too much time and mental effort on this.
If you require advice on how to proceed further, you should seek it from other "hairsplitters" et al through Commons' usual channels.
You may receive further automated notifications as a result of actions on my part, and you are- of course- entitled to contribute and respond to any public discussion I might also be involved in.
However, as far as I'm concerned, this particular conversation is finished.
Ubcule (talk) 23:19, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Cornwall Railway system showing original stations[edit]

Hello. Is it possible to edit the map to correct a spelling. Menhemniot should be Menheniot. Jowaninpensans (talk) 14:30, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi; thanks for pointing that out; yes it is possible, and I'll do it tomorrow Sunday. Thanks again; any pointing out of slips like this is always welcome. Afterbrunel (talk) 15:32, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Swanage Railway[edit]

Hello Afterbrunel, the map File:Swanage rly.gif incorrectly states Map of Swanage Railway at opening, 1875. Actually the line was opened ten years later. I won't correct it myself as the other lines may really depicted as of 1875. --Telford (talk) 06:05, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

Gauge War[edit]

Hi, Afterbrunel, I was wondering if and how this file which you so nicely described could be added to the article. Thank you for your time. Face-smile.svg Lotje (talk) 12:12, 24 March 2018 (UTC)

Oh gosh, thanks. I submitted the image intending to add it to the relevant articles, and then I forgot to do so. Thank you for drawing it to my attention; I'll rectify that tomorrow. Thanks again. Afterbrunel (talk) 14:48, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
Goede avond, Lotje. I see now what the issue is. I did use the image in some articles, but I never developed the Gauge War article. Someone has now written some material which looks extremely dubious, and in any case a lot more work is needed to make the article encyclopaedic. The timescale I quoted will have to get stretched. I could just add the image to the article now of course. Yes, I will do that tomorrow, but there is a lot more to do, and it will take some time.
By the way, I see you have admin powers in Wikimedia. In that case, thank you for your courtesy and supportive approach; I don't often get that from Admin people. Dank U wel. Afterbrunel (talk) 16:53, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
This is taking longer than I thought; there is still a reference book I am getting hold of for this. I am working on it though. Afterbrunel (talk) 08:44, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

River error[edit]

I think I spotted an error on File:Strat 1860.png and its partners, where it says the river runnig through Stratford and Warwick is the Severn, when it's supposed to be the Avon. G-13114 (talk) 06:29, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Thank you; I'll correct it later this morning. Always happy to have errors pointed out. (Stratford-on-Severn would be an interesting new town.) Afterbrunel (talk) 06:36, 23 July 2019 (UTC)
Done now; thank you once again. Afterbrunel (talk) 09:20, 23 July 2019 (UTC)

Wrexham and Ellesmere Railway map[edit]

The Map has Oswestry and Gobowen switched: Gobowen is on the GWR mainline and Oswestry was the HQ for Cambrian Railways served by a shuttle from Gobowen (usually an autocoach and 14xx 0-4-2T similar to those used on the Wrexham to Ellesmere service).

Thanks, I'll put that right in the morning. Afterbrunel (talk) 16:49, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

Map of Norfolk railways[edit]

Dear Afterbrunel

May I have permission to use your image File:Norfolk-rly.png. ? I would like to adapt this for a heritage trail panel in Dereham with some of the history of the Dereham rail station and the Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust. Because these panels will contain a map of the area and quite a bit of detailed information, as well as photogoraphs, I am trying to keep extraneous and unnecessary information to a minimum. Consequently I am avoiding putting attribution on these panels because I do not think it helps the average visitor to the town - it is more of a distraction.

I presume that you drew this map? It is very good and very clear, but I wished to adapt it slightly for the purpose I have described. May I please do this with your blessing?

PS - it took me some considerable time to find how to find your Talk page and then make an entry! Best wishes Carolyn

Replied in email. Afterbrunel (talk) 17:55, 11 November 2020 (UTC)

Thank you - I have not received a reply at my email address: could you please send again? Thank you. Carolyn

Sorry cut and paste of your address seems to haev gone wrong. I have resent it now. Afterbrunel (talk) 13:55, 15 November 2020 (UTC)

Railway maps[edit]

Hello, I have long been an admirer of your excellent, clean-looking geographic railway raster maps, which make an excellent counterpart to the BSicon-based routemaps you find in many Wikipedia articles. At first I was incredibly surprised that they are all seemingly the work of one person, because the number and quality seemed like they were the product of a team. I would like to produce a similar set of standardized, clean-looking railway maps for contemporary and former railways in Canada, as Canadian railway articles are badly in need of illustrations in general, especially geographic ones, and editors, including myself, often seem to rely on historic maps, which are often unfortunately muddy-looking, cluttered, and poorly digitized and/or low resolution. I have full access to georeferenced data (such as here) on all major rail lines and have experimented with KML and GeoJSON implementations of it. If I may ask, what software and techniques do you use to produce your maps? I assume you must use geodata in some way. Julius177 (talk) 07:18, 4 May 2021 (UTC)

You are very kind. I did give a lot of thought to making the maps clear but also visually appealing and uncluttered. Preparing them is very simple and speedy provided that you have the basic data. I have line drawings of the railway routes in book form, and I use base mapping from UK Ordnance Survey maps. To avoid copyright problems I always visually compare them with any other mapping that is available, but my primary source is UK ordnance survey mapping. We are very lucky in the UK in that the National Library of Scotland provides an online dataset of various scales up to 1:2,500 over a number of years. This is in digital form. I usually use 1:50,000 or the pre-metric 1:63,360 mapping, and a much smaller scale is fine for long-distance routes.
I make a bitmap of the base mapping that covers the area I envisage; if necessary I assemble a mosaic to do this, using Paintshop Pro and save it as a bitmap.
I then use Corel Draw. I create a blank base layer and paste the bitmap of the terrain on to it, and stretch it to get the size right. I usually use an A3 paper size (420 by 297 mm -- of course I am not actually going to use paper, this is just to get the scale about right). That way the end result is much reduced. Then I create a new layer and draw in coasts, major rivers and lakes etc, using the Bezier drawing tool. A little practice enables you to do these quite quickly. Keep in mind that no-one is going to use your map for accurate navigation, so that as long as the the railway curves look realistic, it is unnecessary to go for superfine accuracy. So the railway route is added, with stations and text labels. At the end of the process, I make the original bitmap mapping layer invisible, which is simply done in Corel Draw.
A key issue here is deciding how much non-railway detail to put in. It needs to be enough to look satisfying, but adding terrain is quite time consuming. I did try doing coloured layer contours in mountainous areas, and it was exceedingly tedious. The only other process is that if I want to depict the stages of construction of a railway, for example, it is easy to do this by drawing in stage 1 and saving it; making a copy and adding stage 2 and saving that under a different file name; and so on. Just make sure that the area of mapping you adopt for stage 1 is big enough to allow all the stages to be added. (I have made that mistake several times.)
I think I only use about 5% of the capability of Corel Draw, but it is very convenient for this purpose. Corel Draw has become quite expensive now -- they want an annual subscription which in itself is quite pricey. However you can usually get a Home and Student version from a legal reseller for a moderate sum, say about C$150. The current version is Corel Draw 2021. I think I am using X16, but X14 or anything later is ok; the supposed increments since then have not been of any practical use to me. Obviously if you have access to Adobe Illustrator that is just as good, but it is horrifically expensive.
If there is anything else I can help with, or explain, please get in touch. Good luck! Afterbrunel (talk) 21:04, 4 May 2021 (UTC)
Just remembered; at the end of all that I "export" the end product as a png bitmap. Corel Draw is capable of exporting a vector drawing, which Wikimedia says it prefers, but I never worked out how to do that. Afterbrunel (talk) 21:08, 4 May 2021 (UTC)
It sounds like quite a bit of your work is the drawing itself. I think I'll look into Corel Draw as I'd much rather do it properly than struggle with substitutes. If I understand correctly, you're using the ordnance survey maps as a base layer and tracing over them in other layers in the old-fashioned "deli paper" style – I quite like the idea. I've wrestled with various embedded map renders and GIS data for quite some time but it's quite frustrating to try to get good results that way as it's difficult to exclude visual noise like roads, survey grid lines, etc. I've seen some of your Wales maps and agree that the terrain contours seem like a conundrum as they dominate the map, but terrain elevation is rather important for railways. Luckily the main geographic features I would be including are rivers which are easy enough to draw. I think my main challenge will be finding good base maps – the source of the problem in the first place, really. Canada's equivalent to Ordnance Survey is NTS maps which work for the present day but it can be quite difficult to get a hold of maps showing 19th and 20th century rail lines. I'll experiment a bit and if you're up to it, I'd love any feedback you might have, especially as someone who is more experienced with railway mapping but would be coming at these as an outsider who isn't already familiar with these lines/the general area, since I think that would be optimal for making sure they're understandable for readers. My tendency is often to clutter maps so I'd especially appreciate any feedback in that regard once I have a few examples up. Julius177 (talk) 19:20, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
I'd be glad to look at anything you want to show me. I'm trying hard not to make naive assumptions about Canada: I have only been there twice. But I imagine that there are a couple of issues that I haven't faced; you allude to them both. One is the lack of high quality medium scale mapping; that isn't meant to be rude, just (I presume) a fact of history. The second is that mountainous terrain is much more widespread, and can't be ignored. I never solved the problem of depicting altitude without very large amounts of work. Some German wiki editors have told me that they use layers within open street map to eliminate excssive clutter (like irrelevant town names and symbols for modern buildings etc etc). I just tried to find that person but his identity is lost in history. I have thought about using old UK county maps as the base; if they are old enough they are out of copyright so you could display them in the end product mapping. (You can get the Canadian equivalent easily by looking on Amazon; sooner or later someone will show a large enough image of what they hope to sell and you can just copy it.) The snag with this is that the writing is tiny and illegible for the purpose you have in mind... Afterbrunel (talk) 20:27, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
I put together a first example I'm fairly comfortable with for a line that does have an article (Waterloo Junction Railway), so feel free to take a look at it and let me know if you have any comments on it or suggested revisions. It's a currently-existing line that I was able to trace fairly accurately using modern NTS maps, since it avoids the small-scale map problem endemic to a lot of older Canadian mapping that I've encountered, so I felt it was a good starting project. The line has also changed fairly little in its history so I felt it serves a dual purpose as you'll notice the Wikipedia article is mostly history-focused. It's a rural branch line that lost its passenger service back in the 1930s-40s, then had the urban part reactivated for light rail service (which has a fairly developed article on it), but Wikipedia coverage of the line itself is poor and there's no Commons map to my knowledge that shows the full extent of the line including the mostly-inactive rural part going through some village areas.
With the basics of colour I used colours related to historic train liveries that I'm hoping to standardize across any future maps for recognizability, but I also made sure to note the names of the lines themselves and their respective rail systems to not make any assumptions of the reader or rely on colour recognition. As rail in Canada was never fully nationalized and most nationalized parts were privatized in the 1990s, historically you have overlapping disconnected but nearby systems that were never truly rationalized/consolidated as a single rail system. With that in mind I wanted to point out some of the disconnections such as my stylistic choice to show the far northern Goderich line (the only abandoned line on the map) and how it was (to my knowledge) never connected with the Waterloo Spur, which is the subject of the map. I didn't include any of the planned extensions as I don't know of any surviving maps that show them plotted out even hypothetically. I also didn't include light rail and other abandoned lines because I felt it would have cluttered the map too much, and I was struggling to find a balance between a pulled-out enough view to capture the surrounding area while also a detailed enough view that would be appropriate for accurately capturing a 12-mile branch line. I wanted to use a single font to avoid too much of a "graphic design is my passion" effect, but I did judiciously use caps and smallcaps to highlight particular features (line direction/destinations, rivers, line names) and separate them visually from regular place names – I found that this was more readable than using italics. I also used a range of font sizes to give a visual sense of the size of particular places to show Kitchener as the dominant centre (county seat, cluster of rail junctions both historically and today), Waterloo as a secondary one, places on the Spur Line as slightly bumped up in size to highlight them given the subject of the map, and other places in very small 10pt font mostly to contextualize the area and fill in whitespace. I roughly centred the map on the subject and put the label close to the line itself so it was clearer which the subject is. It was challenging to find ways to visually focus on such a short branch line with the mainline (Guelph Subdivision) and other branch lines in view so ultimately I brought the focus in quite sharply to avoid them dominating the map too much.
My main self-criticisms/concerns are mostly around the use of angled text for the lines (a decision I made both to fit the text in the spaces/avoid cluttering and to more clearly show which line which label referred to), the number of village names I included which may be unnecessary (I felt it was better to add them all first and then remove some judiciously later), and the cases where the text labels cross rivers which I feel might impact casual readability. In the case of St. Jacobs it was done to try to most accurately convey that the village is sandwiched between the railway line and the bend in the river (as you can see here), and with the Waterloo Subdivision it was simply that there weren't many other places to put the text in that area, though decluttering it by removing some village/settlement names could possibly help with this. If you notice anything else you feel would benefit from some revision then I'd love to give this one a bit more polish before I move onto something more challenging from a mapping/data sources perspective, as it's very much a trial run to practice this kind of railway cartography/graphic design. Julius177 (talk) 18:15, 7 May 2021 (UTC)

I have been rather tied up for a couple of days, sorry. I've had a look at your map that works fine. If I make some comments here, I emphasise that all of this is a matter of personal taste, and I have no superior view to yours. Your map doesn't look too "busy" -- there is about the right amount of detail on it. You never know whether people viewing it are going to enlarge it to its full resolution, or if they look at it on a phone with a tiny screen, but I Think you have it right here. I notice you used a pale yellow background, as I do. This seems to give the most pleasing effect. You mention colour coding the lines to match company livery. That works fine on your map. I ran into trouble with that because sooner or later you have a situation where two very similar colours come together on the same map, but you're ok here. Angled text? Yes, it's almost impossible to avoid that. You have correctly labelled routes with angled text parallel to the route itself, which looks right. There were some situations I ran across where I needed to label a lot of locations on an east-west route, so horizontal, and I had to angle the labels to squeeze them in. I made them all parallel to one another, otherwise it looks weird. The only thing I would query is whether you want to include an indication of scale. I didn't always bother where I thought it was obvious, but sometimes I included a bar that was one mile, or five miles long. So not a full scale bar with subdivisions. (That can be a lot of work, although you could draw one without putting numbers on it, and keep it in a separate file. Then for any map you draw you could stretch it and add number labels. Oh and you mentioned labels across rivers, St. Jacobs in your case. I tried to avoid that, but there are situations where you can't avoid it. Your St. Jacobs is legible, which is after all the main thing. All in all you've done a good job, well done. Afterbrunel (talk) 06:44, 9 May 2021 (UTC)