What is this, exactly?

Railfan Atlas is a beautiful map interface for exploring Flickr's railroad photography. The project started scouring Flickr for train photos in April, 2014, and has since become one of the largest databases of railroad photography on the internet.

How can I add my photos?

Upload your railroad photo to Flickr, geotag it, then add it to the Railfan Atlas group, keeping in mind:

How did my photos end up on here?

Priority is given to photos in Railfan Atlas group, but the system grabs images from a ton of different railroad groups. If you don't wish to have your photography included shoot me an email (nick@ottergoose.com) with your username.

How are images selected for inclusion in a map view?

A score is assigned to each image; images with the highest score are shown on the map first. The score is a combination of the percentile rank of popularity (views/comments/favorites) and the number of images the photographer has in the Railfan Atlas database. There is no minimum threshold for getting included in a map view.

This is slow; what gives?

The heatmap feature can be a real bear on older devices, and for that I apologize; disable it if it's causing trouble. That said, for the best experience here, you'll need a fairly fast device, speedy connection, and modern web browsing software.

Are you working on any other features?

Sure! I try to throw some time at this project whenever life allows; you can keep an eye on the change log if you'd like to see what's in the queue and what's recently been fixed.

Hey, wasn't this some sort of editable map project way back when?

Yes, indeed it was. In 2008 it was setup as a primative railfan geo-wiki, but lack of development on my end meant it quickly stagnated; while the data still exist, they may or may not ever see the light again. If you wish to pursue the noble endeavor of creating and editing useful railfan cartography, check out Open Railway Map.

Who's running this?

I'm Nick Benson, who you may know as Ottergoose on Flickr. I'm a freelance web developer and use it as an excuse to learn and tinker with new technologies.

Which other groups are monitored for inclusion?

While priority is given to photos in the Railfan Atlas group, the following groups are also monitored for geotagged photos to add to the database. Eventually all of the geotagged photos in these groups will be added to our map, it'll just take some time.

If I'm missing any you think ought to be included, shoot me an email (nick@ottergoose.com).