I'm looking to expand into a different career from engineering and energy, and one of the options I've been looking at was GIS (Geographical Information Systems). The standard software in the field is called ArcGIS and it's basically a combination of Google Maps and Photoshop. ArcGIS is used to create custom maps, which brings me to this:
Could be 'your thing' James judging by your previous Google Earth/ROW search skills.
But has it any real commercial prospects other than for a few deranged historical RR modellers - not known for willingly spending vast amounts on research ?
British RR Co's used to publish beautifully illustrated printed guides for "what to see out of the window" for some major routes, together with track maps leading on from one page to another. But today's travellers are mostly too busy fiddling with cell phones or computer games to even bother looking out the window, let alone have any interest in what they are passing by. It's called "progress" so they tell me.
That was an interesting little mining short line you found, & excellent photos.
I own a "milepost by milepost" guide of the Cumbres & Toltec RR. Never look at it, a lot of verbage and a couple of photos, but it stays in the book shelf.
Michael is probably right about the "few deranged " guys, we seem to be dinosaurs in a Star Trek world...and even Star Trek is "old hat"!
BUT, keep on searching, history is fading fast...kids today don't even know what a "land line" is!
A "landline", as all of us know who don't possess one of those electric tumble drier things, is a length of string or thin rope stretched between 2 fixed points in the great outdoors, to give your drying clothes that 'great fresh natural smell' that others spend $$'s on replicating with aerosol cans of nasty chemicals.
landline: 2-pair (rather-robust-and-stiff-but-fragile-at-the-very-wrong-place-and-time) black wire on a spool run between the platoon 'HQ' (err, foxhole) and the OP 400 yards out into nowhere that is used to hook up these rather large and heavy and green telephones. :D