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Singapore adopts NZ search service

Singapore adopts NZ search service

A pioneering search service developed by the National Library of New Zealand’s DigitalNZ group, has been adopted for use by the Singapore Government, says DigitalNZ head Andy Neale.

“We’ve recently signed a partnership agreement with the National Library of Singapore to use our software for an Asia Pacific-wide search engine and data service. It will connect our New Zealand digital material with international partners in Asia and the Pacific.”

Mr Neale has just returned from a meeting with eight other Asian countries where he says an incredible treasure trove of photos and documents was presented, material that the world has barely seen before.

“Connecting the knowledge from across the Asia Pacific is a great opportunity for us, and will also provide New Zealanders with better access to information from other countries.”

The software behind DigitalNZ is one of only a handful of such systems in the world and Mr Neale says the plan all along has been to share it. There have also been inquiries from Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States for use of the technology.

“This is an amazing opportunity for us, which reflects the high international regard for software developed in New Zealand. One of our goals is to find significant partners who can share the cost of development over time, and the Singaporean partnership is the first step” says Mr Neale.

The announcement of the Singaporean agreement coincides with DigitalNZ’s sixth birthday—the service was established in 2008 as a response to changes to how people research, learn and access information.

“In NZ the technology brings together more than 26 million digital items from 150 organisations, making them easily searchable. Material is then shared through an open data service which is used to power software from New Zealand universities, schools, and cultural institutions.”

“Called Supplejack, the technology allows connections between content that is not ordinarily seen. Part of our work includes improving access to material in our collections that you would be unlikely to find on the front page of a Google search result.”


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