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Data.govt.nz upgrade – Thursday 18 November

Electrical components

On Thursday 18th November at 8pm we'll be releasing an updated version of data.govt.nz. This will result in a very brief outage to the website and APIs, but shouldn't have any impact on datasets.

We wanted to share some of the things we've been working on.

Upgrade to CKAN 2.9

This is the latest version of the underlying catalogue framework, and supports several new features, mostly related to security and for developers. We are currently running CKAN 2.7, so we get the massive list of upgrades and bug fixes from both 2.8 and 2.9. Most notably:

  • Users can now choose to download CSV as TSV, JSON, or XML.
  • Data.govt.nz now includes a data dictionary as part of a resource’s metadata. This will help people better understand the data they’re looking at, so hopefully will encourage you to provide data dictionaries when you publish resources. If you have questions about this, please reach out to us.
  • Improvements to harvests, meaning they should require less manual intervention.
  • Dataset collaboration features, including the option to give users permission to edit just one dataset. If this feature interests you, please let us know.

This upgrade also introduces some security improvements.

The full list of changes is long. If you’re curious, you can read from here up. Note that not all the changes will necessarily be user-accessible. If something piques your interest please do tell us.

Improved search results & user flows

We’ve made some changes to the look and feel of search results, including: 

  • larger titles and text
  • clearer layout
  • more visible lines in the summary, making it easier to see which dataset you’re looking for
  • added “updated” and “created” dates to search results, again making it easier to find the right data
  • improved search experience on mobile.

Defaulting to dataset search

Most users come to the site looking for data rather than website content, so we’ve defaulted the search box to look for datasets instead of content. Users can easily look for guidance just by switching the search option to “website content”. 

Other changes

  • Added another “request a dataset” button to home page.
  • Resolved alignment issues on dataset sub-navigation.
  • Minor visual tweaks throughout the site.

Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, email info@data.govt.nz

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

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