Monday, September 24, 2012

Add a little NatureWatch NZ action to your website

One of the neat new features of NatureWatch NZ is its widgets. These are little snippets of website code (HTML) that you can add to any other website to display live content from NatureWatch NZ. You can see it in action down the right side of this blog (if you're viewing the big computer format and not the teeny mobile screen format).

There's a widget for your Observations. You can use this to display your latest observations on your own website. It includes links back to NatureWatch NZ that your website visitors can follow to see more.

There's a widget for any Taxon. In other words, you can get a widget for any species or higher level taxa, e.g., Animals. This lets you highlight the new observations being made of your favourite living things.

There's also a widget for Projects (e.g., NZ Butterflies). This lets your organisation or institution make a project and display all the latest observations on your website.

There's not much to it. Just select what you want from the NatureWatch NZ settings, copy the provided HTML code, and paste it into the code running your website.

If you know about such HTML-type things, you can further customise the formatting to your liking (just don't mess with the line beginning with <script). We've done a little tinkering like this on the right column of our blog to make a widget that jointly displays the latest observations of animals, plants, and fungi.

Here's how to make a widget for a project, using the NZ Butterflies project as an example.

Here's the resulting widget, displaying live from the NZ Butterflies project:


  1. Jerry Cooper's added a widget of NatureWatch NZ fungi observations at the Fungal Network of NZ website.

  2. Denise Ford has added a nice version of the NatureWatch NZ widget to the homepage of the Travis Wetland website, listing the recent observations made from this site.

    You can make a widget for a place (polygon) as well as for projects and taxa as mentioned in the blog post. Here's the page for making a widget of the Travis Wetland place:

  3. The New Zealand native orchids webpage has a nice implementation of the NatureWatch NZ widget. Check it out at