Getting started

So you want to create a new application using DigitalNZ content? Here are a few tips to get you going.

Get a DigitalNZ API key

Create a DigitalNZ account, log in and select "my API key" from your right hand drop-down menu. The key is a long string of jumbled letters and numbers (hash) that is unique to you.

When you make a call to the API you'll append it to the URL like this (this call won't actually work because it's a fake key): 

Consider the available data

At DigitalNZ we collect metadata about New Zealand's digital content. Metadata is information that describes a particular item, like its title, the name of its creator, or the date it was produced. Understanding what we've got will help you figure out what you can do.

Via the API you can submit a query to our search and it will return information about the various New Zealand-related images, audio, video, magazines, documents, and web pages that we aggregate from our content partners.

The quality and availability of the metadata varies considerably, but in general you can get access to this kind of information:

  • Title
  • Description
  • URL to the item
  • URL to a thumbnail
  • Publisher
  • Creator
  • Date
  • Location
  • Language
  • Rights information

Find more detail about the metadata in our documentation and SwaggerHub

You can get a feel for the info in the search and can find further details about the metadata in our:

Please also check out the Developer API Terms of Use which explain how you are allowed to use the metadata.

Review the beginner's guide to data mashups

Here's a helpful intro to data mashups.

Pick a topic

Figure out what you are trying to achieve, or what problem you are looking to solve. And if you are not quite sure what you want, that's okay, check out Programmable Web's mashup dashboard for some inspiration.

Choose other data services

If you want to bring in additional API services and mix things up a bit, Programmable Web also has a great API dashboard to guide you. Each sector will also have its own lists of specific APIs. If you're just starting out then maybe keep it simple, start with one type of API, and progressively add more layers as you become more confident.

Get coding

Okay, so this is where the real work begins. We can't teach you how to program here, sorry, but we'll point you to our blog post about building a website on the DigitalNZ API.

Send us an example

Contact us to let us know what you've been working on. We'd love to tell everyone!