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Online guides

Posted by Denis Baker 
Online guides
10 October, 2017 15:29
Can anyone tell me where I might fin'd copies of the WI canals guides (Grand and Royal) online please? They used to feature on the old IWAI website but now they just generate an 'error 404 page not found' message. It used to be very handy to leave the physical copy onboard and view the online copy at home.

Thanks in advance,

Denis Baker.
Re: Online guides
12 October, 2017 08:53
I agree totally with you Denis, they were a great resource.

The old charts were well detailed with lovely notes and interesting facts about the history of the area covered by each map.They were compiled with the help of seasoned boaters, the old barge men, tourism operators etc.

The details covered pubs, ancient monuments, golf courses, post offices, shops, garages/ mechanics, water taps, pump outs, rail stations, moorings, jetties, bridges, winding holes, roads, driveable and walkable towpaths among other things.

I enquired about them nearly a year ago, and got an answer some time later. I was told that because the SIG charts were available, they saw no need to include the old charts page on the new website, but noted my concern and would look into bringing them back. That was about nine months ago.

If you follow the SIG charts there are no towns or villages anywhere along the Grand and that includes Dublin. And don't worry about the Barrow, sure you go straight down the middle between the two banks and there are no bridge arches or islands to worry about.

The charts page wasn't the only thing that went missing with the site revamp. I miss too the "useful contacts" page and "hire boat" pages.

Hopefully they will be brought back, but I won't hold my breath.
Re: Online guides
12 October, 2017 12:58
Hi Paul,
Not sure what you mean about lack of data on the canals in the SIG charts.
The current release has a lot of data regarding suggested navigation lines for the Barrow and as far as I am aware all significant towns, locks, bridges, moorings and probably most of the facilities are marked - but we are always pleased to get feedback on missing items so we can continue to improve them.
Similarly the Grand Canal has also had a makeover for this release - with plans to do the same for the Royal in the next release.
If you are referring to the example coverage chart that is shown on teh website, well it is just that, an example of the areas we have covered - and is not intended to show detail.
Perhaps (if you are a CSIG member) you are using an old release? - The latest one was released in September this year.

best regards,

Brian.

Quote:
Paul
I agree totally with you Denis, they were a great resource.
The old charts were well detailed with lovely notes and interesting facts about the history of the area covered by each map.They were compiled with the help of seasoned boaters, the old barge men, tourism operators etc.

The details covered pubs, ancient monuments, golf courses, post offices, shops, garages/ mechanics, water taps, pump outs, rail stations, moorings, jetties, bridges, winding holes, roads, driveable and walkable towpaths among other things.

I enquired about them nearly a year ago, and got an answer some time later. I was told that because the SIG charts were available, they saw no need to include the old charts page on the new website, but noted my concern and would look into bringing them back. That was about nine months ago.

If you follow the SIG charts there are no towns or villages anywhere along the Grand and that includes Dublin. And don't worry about the Barrow, sure you go straight down the middle between the two banks and there are no bridge arches or islands to worry about.

The charts page wasn't the only thing that went missing with the site revamp. I miss too the "useful contacts" page and "hire boat" pages.

Hopefully they will be brought back, but I won't hold my breath.
Re: Online guides
12 October, 2017 21:07
Wooooops! Might have started something I hadn't intended there with my initial question!

All I meant or was implying was that the old guides were a handy resource to pop into quickly online. They also had a wealth of detailed and useful info at the back, along with the history.

I am also a CSIG member and the charts are an essential tool that I wouldn't be without. However, you can never have too much information and I would love to have both available to me. It was worth asking the question in the first place, and I did get a couple of replies..... which is what this forum is supposed to be about. So thanks guys for both views and for taking the timer to reply.

Cheers,

Denis.
Re: Online guides
13 October, 2017 09:16
I am talking about what was lost when the website was revamped. Now when you click on maps and navigations on this website you get a poor replacement, with the words "not for navigation" printed at the bottom.

No I am not a member of the CSIG. And neither are the many people from all over the country, and tourists from all over the world, who accessed these lost webpages in the past and never will in the future.

IWAI say that they are about promoting the waterways for all users, not just boaters. I can only see the step of removing the old charts from this website with "the example coverage chart that is shown on teh website, well it is just that, an example of the areas we have covered - and is not intended to show detail". as a step backwards.

I cannot understand why these different sets of charts cannot both be on this website, unless it has something to do with IWAI membership.

I am not slagging off any work done by the CSIG. Though I do worry a bit about "data regarding suggested navigation lines for the Barrow ", I'll stick to the historic boat channel next to the towpath where there horse used to pull the barge from.
Re: Online guides
13 October, 2017 09:57
Greetings,

If I could just offer an explanation as to what happened:

The old IWAI website was based on a technology platform that had become un-maintainable. We had to replace it. In doing so we lost quite a bit of material. (I say lost, we still have it in archive form, so not totally lost). In addition, a lot of the material that was there was seriously out of date and in places potentially misleading so it was deemed safer to remove it for the present. The old Grand/Barrow/Royal charts were based on scans of the old Canal Guides and while the locks hadn't moved there were some new additions and some of the information (like lock-keepers names and phone numbers) was completely out of date and because of the way the images were created we couldn't easily make any corrections.

We always intended to bring much of that material back in revised form but as things stand at the minute, we don't have the resources to do it.

This website is provided by IWAI as a service to members and the public but it is operated 100% by volunteers and at the moment the volunteers are spread very thin. The issue isn't so much the technical, website-techie-stuff, capability as it is one of information gathering, updating and editing.

Readers of IWN will probably have seen an ad (P13 Autumn 2017) looking for volunteers to help with various things, specifically including updating the website.

Hope this helps clarify matters.

Best Wishes,

Colin
GMY Chang Sha
Re: Online guides
13 October, 2017 10:37
Hi Paul,

I have attached a couple of screenshots of the Barow navigation from the latest charts to allay your fears.
The suggested routes were largely taken from the old printed charts and are shown as purple dashed lines in the places where it matters most.
As said before, we are always open to and welcome feedback if the charts can be improved.
Hopefully the details of facilities and bridges, islands etc are up to scratch :-)
You will see we have custom icons for moorings, pump outs, water and electricity etc.
Of course I am only showing one level of zoom here - and when using the charts you can zoom in and out through 9 zoom levels to get a choice of high level detail through to less detail but good overview information.

We are in the process of creating some special versions of the charts for the canals to replace the old paper ones that were scanned in, but as Colin has pointed out, we are all volunteers doing this in our spare time.
The chart building process is a long one, and effectively duplicating this to a suitable format to put on the website is not particularly simple or quick.
Maybe I will get a bit more time over the winter.

best regards,

Brian.




Re: Online guides
14 October, 2017 08:47
I think what the man means is simple online guides to be available online. The RCAG (Royal Canal Amenity Group) have as part of their "Smart Canal" initiative started putting together an online map of the Royal Canal, which is in the early stages, and could be packaged for use on a smart phone or tablet, like all organisations it is done on a voluntary basis. The initial map can be viewed at; [royalcanal.ie] and scroll down the page and click on Maynooth.

Niall G
Re: Online guides
15 October, 2017 17:25
Thanks for the explanation Colin.

When I enquired before I was told there was no need for the old charts as there were the CSIG ones. Hopefully the revised ones will be back soon, I appreciate the work you and others do, you too Brian.

Best of luck with the project Niall, hopefully it doesn't take away from the "Seagull"winking smileyl
Re: Online guides
22 October, 2017 22:20
Greetings all

I have to admit I went searching for the old guides too and was lost without the online versions from the old website.
There is however an archived version of the old website the direct link to the charts is below
[web.archive.org]
Re: Online guides
22 October, 2017 23:40
Cheers for that Ciaran!
Re: Online guides
23 October, 2017 09:00
I could freakin' kiss you Ciaran, thanks a million for posting that!!
Re: Online guides
23 October, 2017 12:43
Make sure you save the images locally to your own pc or cloud space, those archives don’t last forever
Re: Online guides
24 October, 2017 18:57
Great information here o the archived link Ciaran and thanks for that.
Can I ask does anyone know if there is a laminated version of the "Navigation Guide to the Shannon and Erne Waterways" Like the ones the Hire Companies use.
Our standard one is about to fall apart from getting wet etc.
Re: Online guides
24 October, 2017 22:09
Hi Robbie,

There might be one on the IWAI shop. Check with Colin smiling smiley

If not, I know carrickcraft have them for sale. Not sure how thought but they are A3 smiling smiley

Regards

John
Re: Online guides
25 October, 2017 08:53
Hi John
Thanks for the info .... A3 is perfect, paper version is not great after it gets wet, ours got stuffed under a cockpit cushion to avoid getting blown overboard, and got left there over night, and of coarse the cushion was wet from a squally shower we met out in mid Lough Boderg. We dried it out But the damage was done with tears and cover off etc.
Santa might bring a new shinny laminated one
Re: Online guides
25 October, 2017 09:17
Hi Robbie,
I had a similar problem. Being out in the weather on a tiller I had to replace my charts twice. Tried keeping them in a plastic A3 envelope but still got damp. When I had to buy a third set I bought an A3 laminator for €50 in my local office supply. Cut out the pages and laminated each one ondividually.
Had them out in heavy rain several times over past two years and still perfect.
Initial expense will save a lot later, and I have done a friend's charts as well. Also works for OS maps for hiking, just fold or cut to size.

Tm53
Re: Online guides
25 October, 2017 09:49
Hi Tillerman53
Great advice and many thanks, when you laminated them did you punch them to keep them in a Binder, or did you leave them loose, as I reckon punching a hole might compromise the lamination, so how did you manage this
Regards Robbie
Re: Online guides
25 October, 2017 10:29
Hi Robbie,

What we have is the A3 book with all the charts for the Shannon, Erne & SEW:

[shop.iwai.ie]

€15.00 plus P&P

It’s printed on plain paper and not laminated. The old fan-fold glossy charts have been out of print for a few years. The ones we sell are actually produced by Carrick Craft for issue to their customers and sold on the open market as well.

In my own opinion while the data on the charts is pretty good (nothing like CSIG detail but adequate for normal use) and is pretty much bang up to date (they issue a revised set every year or two) the paper quality isn’t great and doesn’t stand up to much abuse. If you are using it on a chart table in the wheel-house out of the weather it’ll last for a while but I use them out on deck because the boat is tiller steered. What I did was chop up the book into individual A3 sheets and laminate them. (I have a machine I got in Lidl a while back.) It adds a bit to the cost but they do stand up to the abuse a lot better. I also have a see-through plastic cover on my chart table which helps.

Best Wishes,

Colin
IWAI Shop
Re: Online guides
25 October, 2017 10:40
Hi Colin
Many thanks for the Information, so Lamination is the route to go.
I find this chart to be particularly good as the size is very easy to use, and seems very accurate compared to some older smaller versions
I have access to the Csig charts also.... BUT I havent used them I looked at the File size and it is SO BIG that it would just shut down my tablet.

I reckon I will have to buy a specific tablet for Chart work.

Now that is not an option at the Moment, as I embarking on Windows refit / reseal and partial Interior rework, and one of My Ford Engine, "Smokey Joe" needs some Lovin

Again thanks for the advice
Regards Robbie
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