Databases of Photos of Prototypes

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LickeyInclined
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:19 pm

Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby LickeyInclined » Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:53 am

Hello everyone. I’m new to this forum – the first I’ve ever joined, although I have flirted with RMWeb (more on this later). Despite my forum moniker (a reflection of childhood days watching Big Bertha), I am a GWR modeller, on his third layout since getting back into the hobby in the 90s.
While I look forward to participating in discussions on this forum, I hope our administrators will indulge me in the length of this first post, because one of the drivers for my joining is to publicise databases of published photos of prototype locomotives, rolling stock and infrastructure which I have been compiling over the past 25 years. They were developed to help my own modelling. Entries have been sourced from my extensive library of books (over 800) and magazines. There are four databases:

1. GWR locos, mostly in existence at the time of the Grouping. Currently there are almost 42,500 entries.
2. GWR absorbed locomotives (c.2,400 entries)
3. Other selected classes of steam locomotives of the Big Four (c.19,500 entries)
4. Selected diesel and gas turbine locos (c.4,000 entries)

Each database shows the book or magazine details (coded for brevity but backed up by a coded list of publications); the photographer, date, location, loco class/no., its allocation at the time, the angle of view e.g. front or rear ¾, side etc; and a comments column which shows any other details of interest in each photo e.g. rolling stock or infrastructure. Because the databases use LibreOffice Calc (viewable also in Excel) they are sortable by column and searchable.

I have been attempting to have the GWR databases included in the gwr.org website, which had already hit on the idea in conjunction with some RMWeb members. You can pick up the details on both websites - I am the GW Society member referred to. But communications between us have dried up – I have no idea why (though not of my volition). Maybe my version was not what RMWeb members wanted – they seem to have very high expectations on most topics. So good luck to them while they continue to compile at snail’s pace on the gwr.org website.

Our administrators may well confirm that it’s not possible to have these databases incorporated into the New Railway Modellers website. If so, is there any member here who could assist me in setting up a dedicated website? I lack the technical skills and haven’t the time to develop them. The databases would need to be regularly updated by me (incorporating anyone else’s contributions); and, ideally, would be sortable/searchable by guests.

I am reminded of the old mantra that, when modelling a particular prototype, one should have as many photos of it as one can find. Given the number of published photos out there, it’s like finding a needle in the proverbial. My databases help to overcome that problem.

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Journeyman
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Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2021 7:01 pm

Re: Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby Journeyman » Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:38 am

What a wonderful resource LI, you must have put in an enormous amount of work putting it together.
Look forward to seeing it some time.

Dave.

Ex-Pat
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:51 pm
Location: Dundalk Ireland

Re: Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby Ex-Pat » Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:01 am

Welcome to the Forum LickeyInclined.

In my case you're preaching to the converted!

I think it a great idea, and I'd be happy to let you have my own Excel spreadsheet of loco photos (including locations, dates (and other notes) in many cases) centering not only on Hawick and the Waverley Route, but also a few other ex-LNER locations. You never know, you might find something new.

If you're interested then please PM me your email address.

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End2end
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Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby End2end » Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:24 am

Hi LickeyInclined and welcome to the Forum. :)
I think it's a great idea too. I have purchased a few books for the 'withered arm' of the GWR area, specifically for china clay rolling stock photo's and they are very few and far between.
Although there are some publications I'd still like to peruse, I think it would be a very handy resource for many, especially us new modellers. :D
Thanks
End2end
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ChrisGreaves
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:32 pm

Re: Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby ChrisGreaves » Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:13 pm

LI> Our administrators may well confirm that it’s not possible to have these databases incorporated into the New Railway Modelers website. If so, is there any member here who could assist me in setting up a dedicated website? I lack the technical skills and haven’t the time to develop them. The databases would need to be regularly updated by me (incorporating anyone else’s contributions); and, ideally, would be sortable/searchable by guests.

Thought # 1: Some fifteen years ago I developed a online web-based database for a doctor in Ontario, so I could probably do that again. However, rather than providing access to the db through a web interface, you might consider starting off slowly by providing a database (in a common format such as Access, Excel, Word etc) for download from a web site.

You (or a collaborator) would maintain the database on a computer and then upload it on a schedule, perhaps once a week, once a month. Users would download the updated copy at their leisure. You could combine the new release with a short posted note on a thread on, say, NRMF.

Thought # 2: Consider tapping into the strength of Google Images. (to check this out, search for “search google images” and drag an existing image to the page) Google often enough finds the image somewhere; great for accreditation issues.

Your greatest resource – the brains of your users, on locating an image could email the URL of the image to you and you could store the URL in your database – no need to obtain the image. Then when I search for an LNER 4-6-2 “Sir Christopher Greaves” I could make use of the stored URL.

I hope that this makes sense.

Cheers
Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bufferstop
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Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:05 pm

Welcome to the forum. When you are just about ready to publish your database, let our members know by placing a link on here. I'm sure we can give it some realworld testing, without you having to pay or allow some third party to stuff it with adverts. The worst that you may get with us is a banner before and another one after your site is accessed, and even those can be denied access if the reader doesn't want them.

Good Luck and stay safe

John W
aka Bufferstop.
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Mountain
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby Mountain » Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:10 pm

It is a good idea.

LickeyInclined
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:19 pm

Re: Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby LickeyInclined » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:09 pm

Thank you all for the encouraging posts so far. I am attracted to Chris Greaves's Thought #1 and to Bufferstop's post. My intention, once a system is established, is to maintain the databases from my own and from members' contributions. (So I'll keep Ex-Pat's kind offer on the back-burner for the time being.)
In the meantime I will sound out one of my sons who has his own website for professional purposes (subject matter not rail-related!). If he can't help me to construct a website, I'll seek Chris's assistance.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Databases of Photos of Prototypes

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:54 pm

No connection other than as a longtime satisfied customer, Namesco is a long time established registrar who offer a free webname registration with their lowest priced hosting and have an upgrade path if your site and traffic grows.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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