The Dutch fairways have hundreds of water locks that come in dozens of different configurations. Rijkswaterstaat(*) asked me to draw a schematic for each.

First, I drew all the separate elements that constitute a lock: mainly the doors and the chamber-shapes. (See the screenshot on top.)

In order to create these drawings in a consistent manner, I devised a code to represent each possible configuration, akin to a kind of DNA — the lock "genome". I wrote a small script that would read this lock-DNA and synthesize a drawing from the lock elements.

The Netherlands are an ongoing work in progress. The infrastructure of our country is always changing and so are the water locks. Water locks are added, upgraded or removed almost constantly. To assert that Rijkswaterstaat would be able to easily and consistently add new schematics in the future, I wrote an JavaScript application that allows to easily create and edit lock-configurations. (See the screen recording)

This application is now being integrated in the Rijkswaterstaat ecosystem by Qualogy, who also maintains and develops the tool further.

*) Rijkswaterstaat: Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands
The DNA of Water Locks
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The DNA of Water Locks

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