Total Pageviews

Friday 28 August 2015

Interactive Time-Based Animation Map

This Article is work in progress
by Pemanducomm

As the Post heading suggest, I am pleased to inform you that I just launched the Railway History Map of Malaysia. It was built on solid research and powered by ArcGIS Online - Malaysian Railway History


Two years ago, I designed multiple map platform to understand the nature of the Railway. It contained operational year of the railway, number of tracks and status of operation of the tracks. Refer to Malaysian Railway Portal. However, it lacked one thing - Time capability. I revisited this project and focused to create a map of railway network evolution of Malaysia.

I believe so far no one has built such a map. Why I don't start one? Make a foray into the world of time based animation.


The number one challenge of the project is the data for the operational years for the railway. As railways come and go, I need to know when they first being in operation and when they became disused. I downloaded DIVA GIS for the base railway network layer. I made a policy if there is no operational dates or years for the railway, it will not be shown on the map. DIVA GIS showed a lot of unknown railways which I have no evidence to back them.

On the Attribute part, I scouted heaps of blogs, railway fan sites, Wikipedia and every possible source available online.


I have made every attempt to ensure the highest accuracy of the dataset. Below here is the accuracy level of dataset
  1. Railway Network of Malaya: The opening date and closure date of the network is mixture based on the year and date level accuracy. Upgrading of the railway line to double track from Padang Besar to Gemas has resulted some of the previous tracks becoming disused. No definite year or date is found when the track got disused. Disuse status of Pasir Mas to Rantau Panjang is yet to be found. Subang Jaya to Subang Airport 1980 rail link has no disuse date.
  2. Railway Network of Sarawak: The only evident railway with opening and closing year is around Kuching.The route is drawn based on 1940s army map of Borneo. Railway from Brunei to Miri is not shown due to lack of information
  3. Railway Network of Labuan: The railway track is based on 1800s map of North Borneo. It is meant for general viewing, not determining the absolute alignment of the track
  4. Railway Network of Sabah: The only railway network in Sabah is shown in the map is the passenger based route. Since there insufficient evidence for commercial plantation railways, they are omitted in the map
  5. Railway Network of Sarawak: Significant amount of assumption is required to determine the disuse dates of networks of Bukit Timah to Tanjong Pagar (via Singapore City Centre) and Tanjong Pagar to Pasir Panjang. Various websites and blogs have placed contradictory information on the alignment histories of the networks above. 
Train Station opening date accuracy varies. Most of them have accuracy to year level with few stations with complete date level accuracy.


3. Wikipedia
4. KTMB Railway Museum in KL Old Station (For verification of Pelabuhan Klang to Pulau Indah Railway
5. MySin Chew (For opening year of Port Weld Station) 


3. National Library of Australia Online Map Catalogue

Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan

1. (Refer to Kuching for railway alignment)
2.{access_type:%22NLA%20digitised%20material%22}%20%23[format:Map]&offset=2&max=6 (For Labuan and Sabah Railway Alignment)
3. (Credit to Peter A. Weenink for showing timeline of Labuan railway service)
4. Wikipedia
5. (For Kuching - Batu 10 Railway Line history
I, Danesh Prakash Chacko, hereby acknowledge completely all the source listed and unlisted below in the publication. Hence, I do not exercise the ownership of the attribute data (the operational years of the railway network and train stations). Should errors and omissions are found, please submit on the blog comments as below.


  1. Good work Danesh. Did you just use ArcGIS online free with limited capabilities??

  2. Yes, free account - limited capabilities but more than enough for me.

  3. Hi Danesh. Did you purposely excluded the LRT and MRT rail network in Klang Valley, opened since 1998?

    1. Yes, I purposely excluded them. The focus was on Land Based Railway network. Plus the timeline terminates at the year of 2015. What do you say?

  4. Since you asked, I would love to see time-based animation of each of the LRT/MRT/MR/ERL lines in KL ...
    (1) LRT1 - Ampang Line - Opened 16 Dec 1996 (Phase 1), 11 July 1998 (Phase 2)
    (2) LRT2 - Kelana Jaya Line - Opened 1 Sep 1998 (Phase 1), 1 Jun 1999 (Phase 2)
    (3) ERL - KLIA Ekspres/Transit - 14 Apr 2002
    (4) MR - KL Monorail - 31 Aug 2003
    (5) LRT1x - Ampang Line Extension - 31 Oct 2015 (Phase 1), Mar 2016(?) (Phase 2)
    (6) LRT2x - Kelana Jaya Line Extension - under construction
    (7) MRT1 - MRT SBK Line - under construction

    1. Hi Sabre 23, I have incorporated the completed rail tracks of 2016 (end of the year). I have credited you on the sources on the ArcGIS Online system. You can view the map and see whether you are satisfy with the new update.

  5. Oops missed adding this. You can see the map of all those Klang Valley (KL) lines in in this KV Transit MyMaps v0.2 map.

    1. Before I make a case to add this, I want to ask two questions from you:
      1) Do you want them integrated in the current map of all these routings you mentioned? ERL link is on the map already.
      2) Do you happen to have information about of following railway track history?
      a. Opening and closure of Subang Jaya to Subang Airport Railway (opened in 80s and shut down in 90s)?
      b. Any history about Kerteh to Kuantan railway line

      Hope to hear! Thanks!

    2. Hi Danesh,

      I don't mind having all these LRT/MRT/MR/Komuter tracks incorporated in a single map. If you prefer to separate them out you might want to classify them by (i) intercity/freight tracks and (ii) passenger commuter only tracks. The tracks I mentioned earlier on 8 Mar are all commuter only tracks.

      About KTM Subang airport branch tracks and KTM Kerteh tracks, I don't have much info. But the rail fans on Malaysia Railway Club would surely know.

    3. Hi Sabre, I found the history for KTM Kerteh tracks. I will scout the possibility of the answer once the railway group admit me in. By the way, if you look carefully, the map doesn't distinguish the mode of usage of tracks. Railways tracks in Johor, some in Perak etc are meant for freight. I do not want to complicate the map. Thanks for your suggestion.

  6. Thanks for sharing this with us! Some really amazing features.

    Flat Earth Map

  7. Find live NFL scores, pro football player & team news, NFL videos, rumors, stats, standings, team schedules & fantasy football games on FOX Sports. Patriots live