Update on DigitalNZ’s big year of renovations

As we mentioned back in March, we've got a whole lot going on this year.  We're continuing to work hard on our renovation of the DigitalNZ site and services. As with many renovation projects a lot of hard work has been done “back of house”. We've been getting DigitalNZ’s infrastructure ready for the expanded functionality and we've been working on the wireframes - a blueprint that outlines the skeleton of the website.

Blueprint Of Dunningham Residence Auckland Libraries

Image: "Proposed residence for W. E. B. Dunningham 226 Garnet Rd Westmere" 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZ Map 5308' - No known Copyright

The really big work has been planning new features to support a useful and sustainable solution for community content. You may remember that last year we presented a prototype indicating how this might work. So how is this shaping up?

The new features we're planning:
• will enable upload, storytelling, and user contributed metadata enhancement/suggestions.
• use linked open data to provide authoritative and verified People, Place and Organisation topics.
• are built using the DigitalNZ API so that if communities or organisations want a fully customised front-end they have the flexibility to do so themselves (with the possibility of open source templates or plugins being available).

You can view the aforementioned wireframes here: wireframes (PDF Download). These illustrate the range of functionality we’re working on in far more detail.

What we’re working on right now:

We are very close to launching a Beta digitalnz.org with a refined search experience and we're really looking forward to your feedback on it.

We’re also working hard on turning Sets into Stories. With Stories you’ll be able to drag and drop images, add more text, and, in time, upload your own items. This is a core piece of functionality for supporting community content and we think it has great potential as an education tool. 

The next thing on our to-do list is planning the migration of content from the Kete community repositories in to the DigitalNZ service. We’ll also be building functionality for users to contribute suggestions to items. Finally we’ll be working out how to implement some of the linked open data “people and places” Concepts work we’ve been developing for a while now.

Stay tuned and tell us what you think:

Once we’ve got the first version of the Beta digitalnz.org launched we’re going to start launching new functionality early and often. So you’re going to see things that aren’t perfect or things that might seem a bit wacky. Along the way we’ll be asking for your feedback and thoughts. That way we can roll back, refine and fix things quickly. In doing this, we hope that DigitalNZ will get even better at helping you find, share and use New Zealand digital content.

We always love hearing from you. You can email us anytime at info@digitalnz.org with any questions you might have.  Also, keep an eye on this blog, our Twitter feed, or our Facebook page for regular updates.

The next post in this series will launch our new Beta digitalnz.org site. It is going to be a goody!